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Full text of "History of Saint Louis City and County, from the earliest periods to the present day: including biographical sketches of representative men"

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.  II. 

LOUIS    H.    EVERTS    &    GO. 


Copyright,  1883,  by  Louis  H.  EVERTS  &  Co. 


J.  B.  LIPPINCOTT  &  CO., 

1 1 





St.  Louis  as  a  Centre  of  Trade 989 


The  Mississippi  River  and  its  Tributaries 1037 


The  Medical  Profession 1515 


Culture  and  Literary  Growth  in  St.  Louis 1587 



Navigation  on  the  Mississippi  River 1087       Aft  ftnd  Artigtg 1617 

River  Commerce  of  St.  Louis 1123 

Music  and  Musicians I'i'-'S 


Railroad* 1139  CHAPTER    XXXIX. 

CHAPTER    XXX.  Religious  Denominations 1635 

Trade.  Commerce,  and  Manufactures 1213 


Commercial  Exchanges 1340 


Banks,  and  other  Financial  Institutions,  and  Bankers...     1367 

Insurance — Telegraph — Postal  Service — Gas — Hotels....     1414 


Bench  and  Bar....  1449 


Religious,  Benevolent,  Social,  Secret,  and  other  Organi- 
zations      1752 

Prominent  Events — Mobs    and  Riots — Duels — Military 
— The  Towns  of  Carondelet,  Herculaneum,  and  East 
St.  Louis 1820 

County  of  St.  Louis 1870 

I  Hi  L  TJ  S  T  IR,  .A.  T  I  O  :ET  S     OIF 



Alkire,  Josiah  facing  1239 

American  Baptist  Publication  Society 1673 

Bailey,  G.  W facing  1506 

Barclay,  Shepard "  1510 

Barnes,  Robert  A "  1388 

Barnett,  George  1 1435 

Barr,  William,  Dry-Goods  Company 1296 

Barret,  R.  A facing  1508 

Bates,  Edward 1464 

Belcher  Sugar  Refinery 1243 

Bent,  Joseph  K facing  1366 

Billon,  F.  L 1593 

Bissell,  Daniel facing  1856 

Black,  William  S.,  Residence  of. "  1880 

Blewett,  B.  T "  1878 

Bofinger,  J.  N "  1120 

Bogy,  L.  V 1492 

Boyd,  Rev.  W.  W facing  1678 

Branch,  J.  W "  1270 

Brookmire,  J.  H "  1240 

Brown,  A.  D "  1318 

Brown.  J.  C "  1178 

Buck,  M.  M "  1274 


Byrne,  John,  vlr facing  1036 

Cahokiain  1840 1072 

Carondelet,  Plat  of facing  1864 

Carondelet  in  1840. ..\ 1865 

Castello,  Charles fiicing  1888 

Chamber  of  Commerce.'. 1359 

Charless,  Joseph facing  1390 

Christy,  A "        1070 

Clark,  W.  G "        1326 

Comstock,  T.  Griswold "        1561 

County  Court-House 1876 

Cummings,  J.  K facing    1282 

Custom- House  and  Post-Offiee 1437 

Davis,  Samuel  C.  &  Co 1297 

Day,  F.  0 facing  1298 

Dodd,  Brown  A  Co 1302 

Dorriss,  G.  P facing  1862 

Dousman,  H.  L "       1620 

Dozier,  James '         1236 

Dyer,  D.  P "       1505 

Eads,  J.B 1051 

Easton,  A.  R facing  1456 

Easton,  Rufus "        I''1' 




Famous  Shoe  and  Clothing  Company 1317 

Farrar,  B.  G 1519 

First  Baptist  Church  Building  in  Missouri 1670 

First  Presbyterian  Church 1703 

Forsyth,  Robert facing  1294 

Gale,  D.  B "        1238 

Garrison,  D.  R "        1170 

Gast,  August "        1335 

German  Protestant  Orphans'  Home 1916 

Geyer,  Henry  S 1462 

Good  Samaritan  Hospital 1565 

Goodell,  Rev.  C.  L facing  1746 

Gould,  D.  B "       1616 

Green,  Charles "       1816 

Green,  William  W "       1104 

Hackemeier,  Franz 1917 

Haggerty,  W.  H facing  1306 

Harrison,  Edwin "        1266 

Harrison,  James "        1264 

Hill,  B.  A "        1502 

Hodgen,  John  T "        1534 

Humphrey,  F.  W.  &  Co 1307 

Jaccard,  D.  C facing  1320 

Jaccard,  E.,  Jewelry  Company 1319 

Jackson,  John facing  1227 

James,  Samuel "       1889 

January,  D.  A "       1351 

Johnson,  John  B 1532 

Kennard,  J facing  1304 

Kenrick,  Archbishop 1644 

Kingsland,  Philip facing  1262 

Kirkwood  Seminary,  View  of "        1908 

Kline,  Lewis  E "        1673 

Lackland,  R.  J "        1402 

Larimore,  J.  W "        1230 

Larimore,  N.  G "        1229 

Leeds,  E.  N "        1418 

Liggett  &  Myers  Tobacco  Company 1248 

Lindell  Hotel 1444 

Lionberger,  John  R facing  1086 

Lucas,  J.  B.  C "        1408 

Lucas,  James  H "        1410 

Lucas,  James  H.,  Residence  of •...     "        1412 

Marquette  on  the  Mississippi  River 1636 

Martin,  Edward facing  1307 

McKendree,  Bishop 1685 

McPheeters,  W.  M facing  1528 

Merrell,  J.  S "        1288 


Meyer,  C.  F.  G facing   1290 

Moses,  S.  Gratz "        1531 

Nicholson,  David "        1242 

Nidelet.J.  C '•        1540 

Paramore.  J.  W "        1198 

Parsons.  Charles "        1398 

Peters,  Joseph "        1328 

Plant,  George  P '. "        1232 

Pope,  Charles  A "       1530 

Post,  Rev.  T.  M 1745 

Powell,  R.  W facing  1419 

Pratt,  Thomas "        1439 

Primm,  Wilson 1488 

Rayburn,  French facing  1260 

Robertson,  Right  Rev.  C.  F "       1717 

Rubelmann,  George  A "       1280 

Ryan,  P.  J.,  Right  Rev 1645 

Samuel,  E.  M facing  1396 

Schnaider,  Joseph "       1333 

Scholten,  John "       1334 

Schotten,  William "       1246 

Schulenburg,  R "       1 324 

Scruggs,  R.  M . "       1299 

Scudder,  John  A "       1118 

Second  Baptist  Church 1677 

Section  of  Pier  St.  Louis  Bridge 1077 

Senter,  W.  M facing  1362 

Shapleigh,  A.  F "       1278 

Simmons  Hardware  Company 1276 

Sire,  Joseph  A facing  1250 

Smith,  E.  B "        1523 

Southern  Hotel 1448 

Stevens,  Charles  W 1529 

St.  Louis  Bridge facing  1074 

St.  Louis  Cotton  Exchange 1362 

St.  Louis  Grain  Elevator 1227 

Swon,  J.  C facing  1102 

Talmage,  A.  A "        1166 

Vail  6,  Jules "        1268 

Van  Studdiford,  Henry "        1525 

Walker,  G.  S "        1562 

Walsh,  Edward "        1162 

Walsh,  Julius "        1208 

Watson,  James  S 1394 

Wear,  J.  H.,  Boogher  &  Co 1300 

Westermann,  H 1285 

Wolff,  M.  A facing  1037 






ST.  Louis  being  located  in  the  heart  of  the  Missis- 
sippi valley,  in  which  are  produced  immense  supplies  of 
breadstuff's,  meats,  fruits,  and  vegetables,  accessible  by 
fifteen  thousand  miles  of  navigable  rivers,  with  her 
grand  network  of  railroads  penetrating  all  portions  of 
this  vast  valley,  furnishing  quick  and  cheap  transpor- 
tation for  all  the  products  of  the  soil,  it  must  be  ap- 
parent that  at  no  other  place  in  the  world  where  labor 
is  remunerative  can  staple  provisions  of  the  same 
quality  be  furnished  cheaper  than  at  St.  Louis. 

Next  to  provisions  in  the  cost  of  family  expenses  is 
that  of  house-rent,  or,  differently  stated,  the  expense 
of  living  in  one's  own  house.  The  house  represents 
capital,  and  it  costs  the  owner  as  much  to  live  in  it  as 
it  does  the  lessee,  in  either  case  the  net  rental  being 
measured  by  the  net  interest  the  money  would  produce. 

In  furnishing  cheap,  comfortable,  and  healthy  houses 
St.  Louis  offers  rare  inducements.  There  was  a  time 
when  this  was  not  the  case,  and  rival  cities  offering 
greater  inducements  in  this  regard  were  largely  bene- 
fited thereby.  When  the  heavy  business  was  transacted 
chiefly  on  the  Levee  and  Main  Street,  the  choice  resi- 
dence property  was  drawn  within  narrow  bounds  and 
held  at  high  prices ;  and  before  sewerage  and  drainage 
had  transformed  vast  acres  into  choice  building  sites, 
before  railroad  transportation,  steam  and  horse,  had 
equalized  values  at  remote  points  from  business  cen- 
tres by  furnishing  cheap  conveyance  to  and  from  all 
points  within  the  city  limits,  cheap  homes  were  not 
easily  obtained  in  St.  Louis.  But  a  new  and  brighter 
era  has  dawned  upon  her.  Cheap  homes  can  now  be 
furnished  within  easy  access  of  business,  shop,  and 
foundry,  on  finished  streets,  with  gas  and  water,  on  or 

ivenient  to  street  cars.  Building  lots  thus  situated 

can  be  bought  and  comfortable  dwellings  erected 
thereon  cheaper  in  St.  Louis  than  in  any  city  in  the 
United  States  having  a  population  of  one  hundred 
and  fifty  thousand. 

To  this  fact  more  than  any  other  may  be  attributed 
the  rapid  growth  of  St.  Louis  during  the  last  few  years, 
and  it  is  also  the  best  guarantee  of  her  future  pros- 
perity. Cheap  homes  are  the  want  of  the  million  ; 
they  not  only  reduce  the  expenses  of  living,  but  the 
people  become  owners  of  their  own  homesteads,  and 
once  having  an  interest  in  the  soil  their  local  and 
business  interests  become  more  closely  identified  with 
the  city's  welfare,  making  her  population  more  per- 
manent and  at  the  same  time  contributing  to  her 

Persons  of  limited  means,  mechanics  and  laborers  of 
industrious  and  saving  habits,  can  by  small  monthly  or 
quarterly  payments  in  a  comparatively  short  period  be- 
come owners  of  their  own  homes  without  waiting  to 
provide  all  the  money  before  purchasing.  The  making 
of  debts  is  not  generally  to  be  commended ;  but  to  a 
moderate  extent  in  the  purchase  of  a  home,  where 
full  consideration  is  received,  they  are  not  only  com- 
mendable but  tend  to  stimulate  energy,  and  the  money 
thus  paid  is  better  secured  against  loss  than  if  invested 
in  any  other  manner.  In  addressing  the  Social  Science 
Association  of  Philadelphia,  Mr.  Cochran  truthfully 
said, — 

"  People  who  own  the  soil  naturally  feel  that  they 
have  a  greater  interest  in  the  community,  in  its  wel- 
fare, peace,  and  good  order,  and  they  are  fixed  more 
permanently  to  it  as  a  place  of  abode ;  and  the  laborer 
or  mechanic  who  is  working  to  secure  or  pay  for  a 
home  is  inspired  with  more  ambition  than  one  whose 
abode  is  in  tenement-houses,  which  can  have  no  attrac- 
tion to  any  man  or  his  family.  The  system  of  separate 
dwelling-houses  for  every  family  is  in  itself  promotive 
of  greater  morality  and  comfort,  but  the  opportunity 




of  poor  men  to  secure  the  ownership  is  an  honorable 
incentive  to  industry  and  frugality." 

The  means  of  locomotion  within  the  city,  the  ac- 
commodations for  visitors,  the  capital  of  banks,  and 

the  transportation  facilities  other  than  rail  and  river, 
as  collected  in  1882  for  the  board  of  equalization, 
present  the  St.  Louis  of  to-day  as  being  in  the  follow- 
ing condition  : 



Numher  of  Horses. 

Value  per  Head. 

Number  of  Mules. 

Value  per  Head. 

Miles  of  Track. 

Value  per  Mile. 

Number  of  Cars. 

Total  Value  of  Cars. 

Other  Personal 

Value  of  Real 


Baden  and  St.  Louis     








$6  820 

Benton  and  Bellefontaine  














1  44 


1000  j 

9  000 


32  850 

83  810 

Citizens',  Fair  Grounds  and  Suburban. 





1  3  62-100 


10  25-66 

2500  }• 
3500  J 
1500  f 




79  440 

159  430 








57  240 

122  960 










22  880 










59  110 





















1800  j 

2  000 

Tower  Grove  and  Lafayette  





3  1-5 


















63,660  / 


















Hotel  Barnum .. 


Hotel  Hunt , 

Hotel  Moser.... 


Ives  House 



Lafayette  Park. 


Mona  House.... 

Planters' , 

St.  James 

The  Southern- 


Everett  House. 
Grand  Pacific.. 


Assessed  Value 

Proprietors.  of  Personal 


....F.F.  Burt $1,670 

....L.  A.  Pratt U0,200 

Hallie  D.  Pittman 1,890 

....George  Spilling il^OO 

....James  H.  Morris x  1,600 

....Mrs.  M.  L.  Barnum 16,110 

....Shickle,  Harrison  &  Co 17,000 

...Mrs.  E.  J.  Polk 1,560 

....Leo  Moser 1,730 

....James  H.  Hurst 3,220 

...James  0.  Ives x  6,800 

...G.  Koetter 2,3«0 

....Griswold  &  Sperry 30,600 

....Nelson  Yocum 1,140 

....Charles  Scudder  &  Co 40,360 

,...J.  H.  Tomb 1 1,800 

...J.  &  J.  Gerardi 15,440 

...Thomas  P.  Miller 3,430 

...The  Southern  Hotel  Company 61,170 

....M.  C.  Irish ^,000 

...Windsor  Hotel  Company 6,000 

...J.  H.  Hawley 3,250 

...J.  &  J.  Robertson 4,100 


Value  of 
Real  Estate. 

International $12,820 


Lafayette 2,200 

Mullanphy  Savings 2,300 

Northwestern  Savings 

Provident  Savings 76,290 

State  Savings 54,660 

Tenth  Ward  Savings 11,090 

Union  Savings 10,570 

Merchant  National 1,530 

Valley  National 

Third  National 112,130 

Fourth  National 

St.  Louis  National 13,710 

Total  Value  of 















Total $739,650         $10,040,550 


Total $230,760 


Value  of  Total  Value  of 

JSame<                              Real  Estate.  Assessment. 

Bank  of  Commerce $185,890  $1,136,150 

Boatmen's  Savings 67,940  2,174,f>:',o 

Bremen  Savings 1,600  76,050 

Citizen's  Savings 23,400  139,930 

Commercial '    310,000 

Continental 60,640  116,070 

Franklin 38,250  224,221 

German  American 112. ,,0 

German  "Savings 63,630  .  267,700 

1  Assessed  by  assessor,  no  return  being  made  by  owner. 


Name.  of 


Adams  Express  Co 36 

American  Express  Co 42 

United  States  Express  Co 35 

St.  Louis  Transfer  Co 206 

Hazard  Coal  Co 40 

Schuremann  Bros.  &  Co 84 

Eau  Claire  Lumber  Co 59 

Mount  Cabann6  Milk  Co 24 

St.  Louis  Street  Sprinkling  Co.  28 

Arnot,  Jesse 55 

Bensick,  John  C 20 

Bohle,  Louis  C 

Brockmann,  ]> 35 

Sherrick,  L.  P 20 

Cullen  &  Kelly 22 

CK-nicnt.  N.  S 24 

Comfort,  C.  D.  &  Co 21 

Crnm,  C.  N 22 

Ganger,  Jacob 25 

Heitz,  Christ 20 

Herman,  Fred 60 

Value    Number     Total 

per  of        Value  of 

Head.  Vehicles.  Vehicles. 



























Number     Value    Number     Total 

Name.  of  per  of        Value  of 

Horses.      Head.  Vehicles.  Vehicles. 

Kron,  Aug 20  !?65  10  $1,000 

Lawrence  &  Spelbrink 25  40  23  2,500 

Maxwell,  T.  A  J 33  70  3  150 

Meyer,  Adolph 30  40  17  3,600 

Mueller,  Henry 60  100  10  1,000 

Keilly  &  Walfort 161  64  4  200 

Scheele,  H.  &  Son 20  80  10  5,000 

Scott  &  Lynch 30  60  20  4,000 

Wright,  George  C 20  100  9  3,600 

Sloan  &  Ellis 80  37  4  250 

Wolfinger,  John  &  Co 22  75  14  500 

The  territory  of  which  St.  Louis  is  recognized  as 
the  natural  commercial  and  business  metropolis  is 
indicated  in  the  following  table,  with  the  miles  of  rail- 
road they  had  in  the  years  1870  and  1879,  respec- 
tively : 


in  1870. 


Kentucky  (one-half) 

Tennessee  (one-half) 

Mississippi  (one-half) 

Louisiana  (one-half) 

Illinois  (one-half) 2411 

Missouri 2000 

Arkansas 256 

Texas 711 

Kansas  (one-half) 750 

in  1879. 










Total  8052         14,465 

In  the  ten  years  from  1870  to  1879  there  was  con- 
structed in  the  territory  we  have  set  down  as  tribu- 
tary to  St.  Louis  six  thousand  four  hundred  and  thir- 
teen miles  of  railroad. 

The  increase  of  population  in  the  territory  of  which 
St.  Louis  is  the  natural  commercial  metropolis  in  the 
ten  years  from  1870  to  1880  was  as  follows,  the  fig- 
ures in  all  instances  being  from  the  United  States 
census : 


Kentucky  (one-half) 

Tennessee  (one-half) 

Mississippi  (one-half).... 

Louisiana  (one-half) 

Illinois  (one-half) 




Kansas  (one-half) 





















Total 6,549,192         9,237,741 

All  this  territory,  with  New  Mexico  and  Indian 
Territory  still  farther  south,  constitute  a  part  of  the 
vast  back  country  of  St.  Louis.  When  it  is  consid- 
ered, therefore,  that  this  city  has  such  surroundings  as 
have  been  here  described ;  that  she  is  the  very  centre 
of  the  most  productive  agricultural  region  of  the 
whole  earth  ;  that  she  is  in  immediate  proximity  and 
of  convenient  access  to  an  inexhaustible  deposit  of 
the  purest  iron  ore  in  the  world ;  that  she  is  at  the 
head  of  navigation  from  the  south,  and  at  the  foot  of 
navigation  from  the  north  ;  that  she  is  sustained  and 
impelled  forward  by  the  immense,  illimitable  trade  of 

the  great  Father  of  Waters  and  his  tributaries ;  that  she 
has  the  material  around  her  for  building  up  the  most 
extensive  and  most  profitable  manufacturing  establish- 
ments that  the  world  has  ever  known ;  that  all  the 
necessaries  of  life,  the  cereal  grains  and  pork  particu- 
larly, are  produced  in  all  the  region  roundabout  in 
such  profusion  that  living  must  be  always  cheap,  and 
that  consequently  she  can  support  her  population 
though  it  should  increase  to  almost  indefinite  limits, 
when  all  these  facts  are  considered,  who  can  feel  dis- 
posed to  set  boundaries  to  her  future  progress  t 

It  will  be  seen  in  view  of  the  territory  thus  tributary 
to  St.  Louis  that  she  draws  from  a  greater  variety  of 
resources,  from  a  greater  extent  of  country,  that  she 
is  the  centre  of  more  mineral  wealth,  more  agricultural 
resources,  and  that  she  has  the  opportunity  and  is  fast 
endowing  herself  with  the  instrumentalities  for  obtain- 
ing a  vaster  internal  commerce  than  any  other  city  in 
the  Union.    Her  manufactures  are  varied  in  kind  and 
character,  and  conducted  with  less  expense  than  those 
of  any  of  her  sister  cities.     Her  population  has  been 
steadily  swelled  by  the  influx  of   emigration  ;   her 
wares  and  merchandise  find   their  market  in  every 
hamlet  of  the  country,  and  compete  in  Europe  with 
those  of  older  countries.     Her  credit,  whether  munic- 
ipal,  individual,   or  corporate,  is   unimpeached   and 
treasured  as  the  most  valuable  of  her  jewels.      It 
should  be  borne  in  mind  in  estimating  St.  Louis'  po- 
sition among  the  great  centres  of  trade  in  this  country 
that  the  territory  strictly  belonging  to  the  system  of 
rivers  which  empty  into  the  Gulf  of  Mexico  has  an 
area  of  1,683,000  square  miles,  including   eighteen 
States  and  two  Territories,  with  a  population  of  22,- 
000,000,  which   is  increasing  at   the  rate  of  about 
thirty-two  per  cent,  every  ten  years ;  and  that  this  great 
region  produced  300,000,000  out  of  the  450,000,000 
bushels  of  wheat  grown  in  the  whole  country  in  1880, 
besides  1,200,000,000  bushels  of  corn  out  of  a  total 
produce  for  the  same  year  of  1,500,000,000  bushels. 
The   collection    of   this  grain   into  the  granaries  of 
St.    Louis    is   being   carried    on    by    the   energetic 
men  who  have  banded  together  to  accomplish  the 
great  object  of  improving  the  trade  and  importance 
of  their  city.       Elsewhere    the  transportation  facili- 
ties and  the  storage  capacity  of  the  city  have  been 
fully  described.     This  business,  for  which  rail  and 
river  are  competing,  is  vast  enough  for  the  capacity 
of  both,  and  must  in  a  short  time  be  greatly  iu  excess 
of  the  terminal  facilities  afforded  by  existing  lines  of 
communication.     But  St.  Louis  has  also  determined 
to  become  the  leading  cotton  market,  and  in  view  of 
the  railroad  development  ministering  directly  to  her, 
it  is  certainly  no  vain  assertion  to  say  that  her  posi- 



tion  is  now  first  among  the  cotton  markets  of  the 
world.  The  opening  of  Northern  Texas  and  the 
whole  of  Arkansas  to  immediate  connection  by 
rail  with  the  Missouri  commercial  metropolis,  and 
the  probable  increase  of  cotton  culture  in  the 
Indian  Territory,  will  give  a  back  country  capable 
of  producing  millions  of  bales  annually  for  St.  Louis 
to  draw  upon.  She  has  already  become  the  successful 
competitor  with  Houston,  Galveston,  and  New  Or- 
leans for  the  distribution  of  the  crop  of  the  Southwest, 
and  the  encouragement  received  has  justified  her  en- 
terprising citizens  in  constructing  the  most  complete 
and  extensive  warehouses  for  cotton  storage  in  the 
world.  The  trade  of  St.  Louis  now  controls  the  cot- 
ton trade  in  certain  sections  of  Arkansas  and  the 
southern  portion  of  Missouri,  and  has  made  such  se- 
ductive bids  for  the  crop  of  Texas  that  many  counties 
in  that  State  regard  St.  Louis  as  their  most  remuner- 
ative market. 

It  was  said  of  St.  Louis  in  1849  that  "her  com- 
mercial prosperity  is  founded  very  largely,  if  not 
chiefly,  upon  what  is  called  the  '  produce  trade,'  "  and 
the  territorial  limits  of  this  trade  were  Illinois,  Iowa, 
and  Missouri.1  Thirty  years  afterwards  St.  Louis 
competed,  as  we  have  seen,  sharply  with  Chicago  for 
the  trade  of  Northern  Missouri,  Kansas,  Southern 
Nebraska,  Colorado,  the  Territories  tributary  to  the 
traffic  of  the  Union  and  Central  Pacific  Railroads,  and 
for  the  transcontinental  trade  towards  the  Southwest, 
embraced  in  the  southern  and  central  portions  of  Mis- 
souri, the  State  of  Arkansas,  the  larger  part  of  the 
State  of  Texas,  and  the  northwestern  section  of 
Louisiana,  with  the  Indian  Territory,  and  with  Cali- 
fornia by  the  Southern  Pacific  Railroad.  New  Or- 
leans finds  in  St.  Louis  a  rival  for  the  trade  of  West- 
ern and  Northern  Louisiana.  The  trade  of  the  States 
east  of  the  Mississippi  and  south  of  the  Ohio  finds 
competition  at  St.  Louis  with  New  Orleans,  Louisville, 
Cincinnati,  and  Chicago,  as  well  as  the  principal  cities 
of  the  Atlantic  seaboard.  The  trade  limits  of  St. 
Louis  east  of  the  Mississippi  and  north  of  the  Ohio 
cover  Illinois,  Indiana,  and  Ohio,  and  include  the 
through  traffic  with  the  States  of  the  Atlantic  sea- 
board and  with  foreign  countries.  It  is  within  these 
vast  territorial  limits  that  St.  Louis  gathers  the  sur- 
plus products  of  the  people,  and  distributes  to  them 
the  supplies  and  general  merchandise  of  her  energetic 
tradesmen,  merchants,  and  manufacturers. 

The  railroads  which  converge  upon  and  centre  at 
St.  Louis  are  the  following; : 

1  Governor  Allen's  address  to  the  directors  of  the  Pacific 

West  Roads. 

Chicago,  Alton  and  St.  Louis  Railroad  (Missouri  Division). 

Missouri  Pacific  Railroad. 

St.  Louis  and  San  Francisco  Railroad. 

St.  Louis,  Wabash  and  Pacific  Railway  (West  Branch). 

South  Roads. 

St.  Louis,  Iron  Mountain  and  Southern  Railroad. 
Missouri,  Kansas  and  Texas  Railroad. 
Belleville  and  Southern  Illinois  Railroad. 
Louisville  and  Nashville  Railroad. 
Cairo  and  St.  Louis  Railroad. 

East  Roads. 

Ohio  and  Mississippi  Railroad. 
Chicago,  Alton  and  St.  Louis  Railroad  (main  line). 
Indianapolis  and  St.  Louis  Railroad. 

St.  Louis,  Vandalia,  Terre  Haute  and  Indianapolis  Railroad. 
St.  Louis,  Wabash  and  Pacific  Railway. 
Illinois  and  St.  Louis  Railroad. 

North  Roads. 

St.  Louis,  Wabash  and  Pacific  Railroad  (Iowa  Division). 
Chicago,  Burlington  and  Quincy  Railroad  (St.  Louis  Division). 
St.  Louis,  Keokuk  and  Northwestern  Railroad. 

The  variations  of  the  receipts  and  shipments  of  the 
commerce  of  St.  Louis  with  the  north  are  shown  in 
the  following  table : 

Year.  Beceived.  Shipped. 

Tons.  Tout. 

1871 297,680  93,842 

1872 363,006  79,200 

1873 353,206  80,806 

1874 368,076  116,267 

1875 286,318  122,751 

1876 324,947  128,629 

1877 233,158  114,827 

1878 382,628  126,601 

1879 445,621  132,760 

1880 604,173  157,803 

Turning  to  the  east,  we  find  a  larger  commerce 
even  than  that  with  the  north.  The  total  receipts 
from  and  shipments  to  the  east  were  for  the  last 
decade : 

Year.  Received.  Shipped. 

Tons.  Tons. 

1871 1,219,245  545,636 

1872 1,341,545  688,264 

1873 1,568,719  699,048 

1874 1,540,632  746,037 

1875 1,542,866  750,527 

1876 1,510,527  1,026,291 

1877 1,634.860  927,448 

1878 1,770,548  1,119,406 

1879 2,041,440  1,225,895 

1880 2,508,704  1,325,004 

From  the  south  St.  Louis  received  as  well  as 
shipped  the  following  commerce : 

Year.                                             Beceived.  Shipped. 

Tons.  Tons. 

1871 1,109,801  695,531 

1872 1,392.080  836,089 

1873 1,339,688  838,123 

1874 1,196,534  767,819 

1875 1,371,670  738,632 

1876 1,310,534  696,577 

1877 1,339,649  798,802 

1878 1,290,606  832,018 

1879 1,649,272  995,346 

1880 1,853,577  1,492,216 



The  western  commerce  of  St.  Louis  is  exhibited 
for  ten  years  in  the  following  table  : 

v                                               Received.              Shipped. 
Tear-                                               Ton*.                      Ton>. 

1871  555,996             395,371 

Mississippi  River,  the  values  standing  for  eastward 
or  via  Atlantic  ports  at  $17,000,000,  and  southward 
or  via  New  Orleans  at  $10,000,"000. 
As  illustrating  the  course  of  the  internal  commerce 
from  St.  Louis,  the  following  movements  of  cotton, 
grain,  flour,  provisions,  and  live-stock  will  be  found 
instructive  : 

Articles.                         Direction.                    1880.            1879. 
Cotton,  bales  Shipped  south  5.417              7,208 

1872  605,652            406,393 

1873  784,620             320,695 

1874  793,216            307,878 

1875  595,441             328,635 

1876  974,467             408,678 

1877  901,206             409,443 

1878  1,056,225             417,209 

1879  1,215,715             608,860 
1880  2,023,930             818,182 

"          "    "        elsewhere  5,827              1,289 

For  the  better  comparison   of  the   extraordinary 
growth  of  the  commerce  of  St.  Louis  during  the'  last 
decade,  the  following  table  groups  the  tonnage  of  all 
the  sections  : 

Year.          North.            East.            South.              West.              Total. 
1871....  391,552     1,764,887     1,805,332        951,367       4,913,102 
1872....  442,206     2,029,809     2,228,169     1,012,045       5,712,229 
1873....  434,012     2,267,767     2,177,811     1,105,315       5,984,905 
1874....  484,343     2,286,069     1,964,353     1,101,094       5,835,859 
1875....  409,069     2,293,393     2,110,302     1,024,076       5,836.840 
1876....  453,576     2,536,318     2,007,111     1,383,145       6,380,150 
1877....  347,985     2,562,308     2,138,451     1,310,649       6,359,393 
1878....  509,229     2,889,954     2,122,624     1,473,434       6,995,241 
1879....  578,381     3,267,335     2,644,618     1,824,575       8,314,909 
1880....  761,976     3,833,708     3,345,793     2,842,112     10,783,589 

In  these  ten  years  the  commerce  of  St.  Louis  in- 
creased  northward   from  391,522   tons  in  1871  to 
761.976    tons    in    1880;    towards   the    east    from 
1,764,881  tons  in  1871  to  3,833,708  tons  in  1880  ; 
towards  the  south  from  1,805,332  tons  in  1871  to 
3,345,793  tons   in    1880  ;    towards  the    west  from 
951,367  tons  in  1871  to  2,842,112  tons  in  1880; 
and  the  total  grew  from  4,913,102  tons  in  1871  to 
10,783,589  tons  in  1880. 
The  rapidity  of  the  growth  of  this  commerce  will 
be  more  easily  comprehended  by  considering  the  pro- 
portion of  tonnage  for  the  years   1880,  1879,  and 

"        "        east  4  927  389        4  C84  09'i 

"            "         "        elsewhere                  183  904             99  4'J6 

Corn,  bushels  "        south                     12962076        5287394 

"      "        east  4'  591*944        3*009*776 

"            "      "        elsewhere                     17  302             13  836 

Flour,  barrels  "        south...                   1350*442        1049*504 

"     "        east  1  912'l71        1*927490 

"            "      "        elsewhere                    30090             68041 

Flour  and  grain1  "        south  28,377271      15134163 

«'        "        "     "         east         ...            19555975      17952999 

"        "        "     "        elsewhere  388737           589262 

Hog  products,  pounds...      "        south  150,94^,883    158,639570 

"          "              "       ...       "        east  45388116      63669511 

"          "              "       ...       "        elsewhere  3,913,027        3,892,698 
Cattle,  number  "        east,  by  rail  1,774              2,041 

"            "       "        south,  by  rail..         219350           219416 

rail  5474              4,798 

directions                 2,281 

Sheep   number  "        south,  by  rail...            6,690              2,441 

"           «       "        east,  by  rail  72,384            76,286 

"            "       "        elsewhere,    by 

rail  12,421              9,374 

"           "       "        by  river  in  all 

directions                 3  027            

Hogs,  number  "        south,  by  rail..            4,323              5,401 

»           "       "        east,  by  rail  759,323          679,513 

rail  6,642              1,815 

"            "       "        by  river  in  all 

directions....            1,481            

The  percentage  of  the  shipments  of  cotton  towards 
the  south  in  1880  was   1.13,  and  towards  the  east 
97.65,  and  1.22  in  other  directions;  of  iclicat,  54.82 
per  cent,  went  south,  and  43.55  per  cent,  went  east, 
1.63  per  cent,  in  other  directions;   of  corn,  73.77 
per  cent,  went  south,  26.13  per  cent,  went  east,  0.10 
per  cent,  in  other  directions  ;  of  flour,  41.01  per  cent, 
went  south,  58.07  per  cent,  east,  and  0.92  per  cent, 
in  other  directions;  of  grain,  etc.,  58.45  per  cent, 
went  south,  40.47  east,  and  1.08  in  other  directions; 
of  hog  products,  75.38  per  cent,  went  south,  22.67 
per  cent,  east,  and  1.95  per  cent,  in  other  directions; 
of  cattle,  0.77  per  cent,  went  south,  95.84  per  cent, 
east,  and  3.39  per  cent,  in  other  directions  ;  of  sheep, 
6.38  per  cent,  went  south,  77.40  east,  and  16.22  in 
other  directions  ;  of  hogs,  0.56  per  cent,  went  south, 
98.52  per  cent,  east,  and  0.92  in  other  directions. 
The   steady    expansion    of  the    commerce   of   St. 
Louis  is  shown  by  the  increase  during  1880  over 
1879  of  the  shipments  of  flour  and  grain  from  St. 
Louis  to  the  east   and  to  the  south,  the  former  of 
which  increased  1,602,976  bushels,  or  8.9  per  cent., 
and  the  latter  13,243,108  bushels,  or  87.05  per  cent.  ; 
in  1879  the  shipments  to  the  east  exceeded  those  to 

1880.                            1879.                           1878. 

TION.                                   Par                                    Par                                    Par 
Tons-         Cent.         T°n8'         Cent.         T°n8-         Cent. 

North  761,976           7.07         578,381           6.95        509,229            7.28 
West  2,842,112        20:55      1824575         ''I  95     14734:54          21.06 

South  3,345,793        31.03      2,644,61  S         :;l.-n     2,122.t)24          30.35 
East  3,833,708        35.55     3,267  ,33f>        :','.!  :;o     2,889,951          41.31 

Total  10,783,589      100.00      8,314,909      100.00     6,995,241        100.00 

It  will  be  observed  from  these  tables  that  the  com- 
merce of  St.  Louis  towards  the  east  was  larger  in 
1880  than  in  any  other  direction,  and  a  much  larger 
traffic  passes  over  the  great  bridge  than  is  transported 
on  the  river.     In  direct  trade  with  foreign  countries 
in   1880,  the    value  of  eastward   shipments  by  rail 
via    Atlantic  ports    was   seventy    per    cent,    greater 
than  the  value  of  the  shipments  southward  via  the 

1  Including  wheat,  corn,  rye,  oats,  barley,  and  flour,  at  five 
bushels  to  the  barrel. 



the  south  by  2,818,836  bushels,  but  in  1880  the 
shipments  to  the  south  exceeded  those  to  the  east  by 
8,821,296  bushels;  in  1879  about  53  per  cent,  of  the 
shipments  was  to  the  east,  but  in  1880  nearly  59 
per  cent,  of  the  total  shipments  was  to  the  south ; 
the  total  shipments  for  1880  exceeded  those  for  1879 
by  14,645,559  bushels.  The  receipts  of  flour  at  St. 
Louis  in  1880  exceeded  those  for  1879  by  100,000 
barrels;  those  of  wheat  increased  4,000,000  bushels; 
of  corn,  9,000,000  bushels;  of  oats,  600,000  bushels; 
and  of  barley,  730,000  bushels ;  while  the  receipts  of 
rye  decreased  250,000  bushels  as  compared  with 

There  is  a  wide  disparity  of  opinion  in  regard  to 
the  limits  of  the  territory  actually  tributary  to  St. 
Louis,  and  consequently  the  extent  of  the  products 
controlled  by  that  city.  We  wish  to  present  both 
views,  that  which  is  less  favorable  to  the  pretensions 
of  St.  Louis  and  that  which  is  more  favorable.  We 
will  state  in  advance  that  we  incline  to  accept  the 
claim  for  the  wider  horizon  and  the  broader  destiny. 
No  city  has  a  grander  geographical  site,  and  none  a 
more  generous  and  nobler  population.  If  these  two, 
working  together  in  steadfast  co-operation, — intelli- 
gence reverently  and  diligently  utilizing  and  applying 
the  gifts  and  largess  of  nature,  the  stored-up  forces 
and  conservated  energies  of  immemorial  ages, — cannot 
make  a  great  city  and  a  great  centre  of  trade,  then 
nothing  can.  Anyhow,  it  is  proper  that  a  city  should 
have  implicit  confidence  in  its  resources.  As  Col. 
George  E.  Leighton,  president  of  the  Missouri  His- 
torical Society,  said,  in  his  very  intelligent  and  thought- 
ful address  at  the  last  annual  meeting,  Jan.  16,  1883, 
"  A  living  interest  and  belief  in  the  real  greatness  of  a 
city  will  alone  make  it  great.  Such  a  feeling  is  con- 
tagious, and  if  we  but  do  our  part,  we  can  impress 
ourselves  and  others  with  the  belief  that  we 'have  in 
St.  Louis  a  city  worthy  of  our  interest,  and  of  our 
labors  to  make  it  attractive  in  all  those  directions 
which  ennoble,  dignify,  and  refine  our  lives,  as  well  as 
in  those  which  minister  to  its  material  progress." 

Mr.  Joseph  Niramo,  Jr.,  chief  of  the  Bureau  of 
Statistics  of  the  Treasury  Department,  Washington, 
in  his  very  comprehensive  and  suggestive  report  on 
the  "  Internal  Commerce  of  the  United  States,"  sub- 
mitted to  Secretary  of  the  Treasury  Windom,  July  1, 
1881,  attempts  to  define  the  "  territorial  limits  of  the 
commerce  of  St.  Louis."  What  he  says  is  as  fol- 
lows : 

"  It  is  deemed  proper  in  this  connection  to  present  a  general 
description  of  the  range  of  the  commercial  activities  of  St.  Louis, 
such  as  was  presented  in  a  preceding  report  on  the  internal  com- 
merce of  the  United  States,  with  such  modifications  as  the 

changed  conditions  of  trade  and  of  transportation  have  rendered 

"  The  limits  of  the  trade  of  St.  Louis  cannot  be  precisely  de- 
fined, nor  can  the  limits  of  the  trade  of  any  other  great  commer- 
cial city,  as  each  city  is  either  directly  or  indirectly  the  compet- 
itor of  every  other  commercial  city.  St.  Louis  has  direct  trade 
with  San  Francisco,  with  St.  Paul,  Minn.,  with  Chicago,  with 
New  Orleans,  with  the  principal  Atlantic  seaports,  and  with 
many  of  the  principal  ports  of  Europe.  This  is  also  true  of 
other  great  commercial  cities,  both  at  the  West  and  on  the  sea- 
board. But  in  the  sense  of  being  the  principal  market  for  the 
sale  of  general  merchandise,  and  for  the  purchase  of  surplus 
agricultural  products  of  the  surrounding  country,  the  terri- 
torial extent  of  the  commerce  of  St.  Louis  may  be  described  as 
folldws : 

"  The  commerce  of  St.  Louis  west  of  the  Mississippi  River 
and  north  of  the  State  of  Missouri  is  quite  small,  the  city  of 
Chicago  having  secured  the  principal  control  of  that  trade  by 
means  of  the  system  of  east  and  west  roads  centring  in  that 

"St.  Louis  competes  sharply  with  Chicago  for  the  trade  of 
Northern  Missouri,  Kansas,  Southern  Nebraska,  Colorado,  the 
Territories  tributary  to  the  traffic  of  the  Union  and  Central  Pa- 
cific Railroads,  and  for  the  transcontinental  trade  with  the 
States  of  the  Pacific  coast,  and  mainly  controls  so  much  of  the 
trade  towards  the  Southwest  as  is  embraced  in  the  southern  and 
central  portion  of  Missouri,  the  State  of  Arkansas,  the  larger 
part  of  the  State  of  Texas,  and  the  northwestern  section  of  Lou- 
isiana. For  the  trade  of  Kansas,  the  northern  part  of  Texas, 
and  the  Indian  Territory,  St.  Louis  meets  an  active  competition 
in  the  commercial  enterprises  of  Chicago. 

"The  advent  of  railroads  as  highways  of  commerce  has  led  to 
many  changes,  not  only  in  the  limits  of  the  commerce  of  cities, 
but  also  in  their  relation  to  each  other.  This  fact  is  strikingly 
illustrated  with  respect  to  the  commerce  of  St.  Louis  and  of  New 
Orleans.  Twenty  years  ago  almost  all  the  commercial  interests 
of  these  two  cities  were  mutual  and  reciprocal,  but  to-day,  with 
respect  to  the  large  and  rapidly-growing  southwestern  com- 
merce, St.  Louis  is  a  formidable  rival  of  New  Orleans.  This 
new  condition  of  affairs  has  resulted  mainly  from  the  construc- 
tion of  the  St.  Louis,  Iron  Mountain  and  Southern  Railroad  and 
connections,  and  the  Missouri,  Kansas  and  Texas  Railroad.  These 
lines,  by  their  extension  into  Arkansas,  Western  and  Northern 
Louisiana,  and  Texas,  have  not  only  invaded  a  section  formerly 
embraced  within  the  trade  limits  of  New  Orleans,  but  they  have 
been  the  instrumentalities  through  which  a  very  large  commer- 
cial development  has  taken  place  within  this  highly  productive 
section.  The  railroads  referred  to  have  invited  a  large  immigra- 
tion into  these  States,  and  trade  and  industry  have  thus  been 
greatly  promoted.  Not  only  are  the  surplus  products  of  a  large 
part  of  the  State  of  Arkansas,  as  well  as  of  parts  of  Louisiana 
and  Texas,  shipped  to  St.  Louis  and  other  northern  cities  for  a 
market,  but,  in  return,  general  merchandise  is  shipped  to  those 

"  By  the  completion  of  the  railroad  line  from  New  Orleans  to 
Houston,  the  former  city  has  become  a  direct  competitor  with 
St.  Louis  for  a  large  part  of  the  traffic  of  the  railroads  of  Texas. 
The  competition  of  New  Orleans  for  the  trade  of  Texas  will  un- 
doubtedly become  sharper  upon  the  completion  of  the  railway 
line  designed  to  connect  that  city  with  Shreveport,  La.,  at 
which  point  connection  will  be  made  with  the  Texas  Pacific 
Railroad  and  its  connecting  lines. 

"  For  the  trade  of  the  States  east  of  the  Mississippi  River 
and  south  of  the  Ohio  River,  St.  Louis  meets  the  active  compe- 
tition of  the  trade  of  New  Orleans,  Louisville,  Cincinnati,  and 
Chicago,  and  of  the  principal  cities  on  the  Atlantic  seaboard. 



The  trade  of  St.  Louis  with  those  States  has  exhibited  no  ma- 
terial increase  for  several  years. 

"  The  trade  limits  of  St.  Louis  east  of  the  Mississippi  River 
and  north  of  the  Ohio  River,  not  including  the  through  traffic 
with  the  States  of  the  Atlantic  seaboard  and  with  foreign  coun- 
tries, embrace  a  considerable  portion  of  the  State  of  Illinois 
and  extend  into  Indiana  and  Ohio.  This  is  a  commerce  almost 
entirely  by  rail,  only  a  very  small  percentage  of  it  being  carried 
on  by  means  of  boats  plying  on  the  Mississippi  and  Illinois 
Rivers.  All  this  trade,  with  the  exception  of  that  in  the  im- 
mediate vicinity  of  St.  Louis,  is  highly  competitive  as  between 
Chicago,  Toledo,  and  St.  Louis.  This  applies  both  to  the  pur- 
chase of  agricultural  products  and  to  the  sale  of  supplies  and 
general  merchandise.  The  state  of  the  markets  at  these  rival 
cities  determines  the  course  of  trade  of  this  section  at  all  times. 

"  The  commerce  of  St.  Louis  with  the  States  and  Territories 
already  referred  to  has  as  its  distinguishing  characteristics  the 
purchase  of  the  surplus  products  of  those  States  and  Territories 
and  the  sale  of  merchandise  for  consumption  within  such  terri- 
torial limits.  But  the  commerce  of  St.  Louis  with  the  Atlantic 
seaboard  States  and  with  foreign  countries  presents  itself  under 
an  entirely  different  aspect." 

Mr.  Nimmo  at  this  point  speaks  of  the  railroads 
which  centre  at  St.  Louis  and  the  sharp  competition 
of  the  east-bound  trunk  lines,  a  matter  which  it  is 
not  necessary  to  discuss  now  or  here.  There  are  two 
reasons  for  this :  in  the  first  place,  the  rates  of  com- 
petition are  so  fluctuating  and  uncertain  that  there  is 

no  standard,  as  there  is  also  neither  good  policy,  es- 
tablished policy,  honor  nor  honesty  in  the  competition 
for  freight  from  the  west  to  the  Atlantic  seaboard 
cities.  These  things  will  finally  adjust  themselves, 
and  in  the  final  adjustment  it  will  be  "  devil  take  the 
hindmost."  But  in  the  mean  time,  so  long  as  "  pool- 
ing" corrects  distance,  no  scale  of  rates  can  be  per- 
manently laid  down.  We  have  nothing  but  expedients, 
and  very  temporary  ones  at  that,  and  St.  Louis  can 
afford  to  wait  until  time,  which  adjusts  everything 
else,  has  adjusted  this  also.  In  the  second  place,  St. 
Louis  possesses  a  regulator  of  freight  rates  to  eastern 
seaports  which,  she  is  fain  to  believe,  will  finally  re- 
construct everything,  and  especially  readjust  the  "  dif- 
ferential rates"  entirely  in  her  favor.  This  regulator 
is  the  Mississippi  River,  which,  no  matter  what  rail- 
road managers  may  say,  intends  to  have  a  potential 
voice  in  the  final  adjustment  of  freight  rates  from 
western  trade  centres  to  European  markets,  and  will 
not  be  ignored,  belittled,  or  frightened  by  any  of  their 
"  statements." 

The  area  of  country  really  and  actually  tributary 
to  St.  Louis,  the  more  sanguine  friends  of  its  com- 
merce in  the  future  claim,  is  as  follows : 




Miles  of 






Number  of 










Arkansas           ...             .. 




Iowa  (i)  


Texas  (£)  











1  AU  the  Texas  railroads  are  tributary  to  St.  Louis,  so  also  are  the  Texas  cattle  and  other  live-stock. 

Cotton  and  other  products  are  given  in  other  tables. 
The  above  table  is  supposed  to  represent  the  States 
which  send  or  are  to  send  their  products  to  St.  Louis. 
The  States  and  Territories  which  St.  Louis  supplies 
more  or  less  with  goods,  either  of  her  own  manufac- 
ture or  through  the  jobbing  trade,  are  exemplified  in 
a  statement  of  Mr.  E.  C.  Simmons,  president  of  the 
Simmons  Hardware  Company  of  St.  Louis  : 

"  We  purchase  goods  at  many  points  throughout  the  North- 
ern as  well  as  Eastern  States,  from  the  Mississippi  River  east  to 
Providence  and  Boston.  There  are  also  many  manufacturers 
of  goods  in  our  line  here  in  St.  Louis  from  whom  we  draw  sup- 
plies. We  have  goods  manufactured  at  several  of  the  principal 
penitentiaries  of  the  country.  We  also  still  import  largely  of 

certain  lines  of  goods  chiefly  from  England  and  Germany,  and 
some  from  France  and  Switzerland.  All  of  our  goods,  both  do- 
mestic and  foreign,  are  shipped  to  us  direct  on  through  bills  of 

"  The  range  of  our  sales  is  very  wide  indeed.  We  sell  goods 
as  far  east  as  Indiana,  north  as  far  as  Wisconsin  and  Minne- 
sota, Dakota,  Idaho,  and  Wyoming,  west  as  far  as  Colorado, 
Utah,  Montana,  Nevada,  Arizona,  New  Mexico,  and  California, 
and  south  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico.  We  also  have  trade  in  Ala- 
bama and  Georgia,  Tennessee  and  Kentucky,  with  some  scatter- 
ing trade  in  North  Carolina  and  Virginia,  Ohio  and  Michigan. 

"This  widely  extended  business  is  chiefly  done  through  com- 
mercial travelers  or  agents  employed  by  our  house.  The  whole 
territory  is  divided  up  into  districts,  each  district  being  in  the 
particular  charge  of  one  of  our  commercial  travelers,  who  is  held 
responsible  for  the  maintenance  and  extension  of  trade  within 
his  district.  He  is  also  expected  to  keep  the  house  informed  in 



regard  to  the  competition  which  he  meets  from  every  point, 
from  other  business  houses  in  this  city  and  in  other  cities,  also 
as  to  crops  and  facts  of  interest  touching  the  influence  of  com- 
peting rail  rates.  The  limits  of  our  trade  depend  very  largely 
upon  the  rates  for  transportation  which  we  have  to  meet  from 
competing  business  houses  in  other  cities. 

"  At  present  we  have  thirty-one  commercial  agents  employed. 

"  Nineteen-twentieths  of  our  trade  is  by  rail.  The  great  ad- 
vantage afforded  by  rail  transportation  is  the  readiness  and 
quickness  with  which  goods  can  be  distributed.  All  we  have  to 
do  is  to  ship  goods  by  rail  on  a  through  bill  of  lading  to  a  re- 
mote point.  They  may  pass  over  three  or  four  different  rail- 
roads, but  the  railroad  companies  attend  to  transshipment  from 
the  line  of  one  company  to  that  of  another. 

"  Insurance  is  a  thing  that  bears  heavily  against  water  ship- 
ments. Merchants  will  buy  goods  from  points  where  they  will 
reach  them  quickest.  Take,  for  instance,  Corsicana,  Texas. 
The  all-rail  rate  from  St.  Louis  is  $1.25  to  $1.50  per  one  hun- 
dred pounds,  and  from  New  York  by  Morgan  line  it  is  but  fifty 
to  seventy-five  cents  per  one  hundred  pounds;  still,  on  account 
of  the  quicker  transportation,  the  merchants  buy  most  of  their 
goods  in  St.  Louis,  and  ship  by  rail.  In  our  trade  east  of  this 
point  we  find  a  very  sharp  competition  from  Chicago,  but  we  do 
not  meet  much  competion  from  Chicago  in  Missouri  south  of 
this  point,  or  in  the  Indian  Territory,  Arkansas,  or  Texas.  All 
that  we  regard  as  especially  our  territory. 

"  Throughout  the  States  south  of  the  Ohio  and  east  of  the 
Mississippi  Eiver,  viz. :  Kentucky,  Tennessee,  Mississippi,  Ala- 
bama, Georgia,  and  Louisiana,  and  some  little  in  North  Caro- 
lina, we  meet  the  competition  of  Louisville  and  Cincinnati 
merchants,  and  also  a  very  vigorous  competition  from  New 
York.  Our  best  trade  may  be  said  to  be  in  Iowa,  Illinois,  Mis- 
souri, Kansas,  Arkansas,  and  Texas." 

The  foregoing  statement  in  regard  to  the  range  of 
the  business  of  a  single  house,  both  in  its  territorial 
extent  and  in  the  degree  to  which  its  management 
involves  the  exercise  of  executive  and  administrative 
ability,  affords  a  striking  illustration  of  the  manner  in 
which  the  wholesale  or  jobbing  trade  is  carried  on  at 
the  present  time.  In  the  range  of  its  activities  and 
in  the  methods  employed,  the  commerce  of  the  present 
day  is  widely  at  variance  with  all  ideas  of  trade  which 
prevailed  even  thirty  years  ago.  At  all  the  points 
where  purchases  are  made  by  the  business  house 
above  referred  to,  purchases  are  also  made  by  mer- 
chants doing  business  in  a  hundred  rival  towns  and 
cities.  Throughout  almost  the  entire  area  in  which 
the  sales  of  this  business  house  are  made,  competition 
is  also  met  from  business  houses  in  Chicago,  Louis- 
ville, Cincinnati,  New  York,  Boston,  Philadelphia, 
Baltimore,  and  many  other  towns  of  lesser  magnitude. 

St.  Louis  competes  with  Louisville  and  other  cities 
in  the  manufacture  of  tobacco,  selling  all  the  Missouri 
product.  In  the  sale  of  dry-goods,  clothing,  and 
groceries,  she  competes,  on  their  own  territory,  with 
Galveston,  New  Orleans,  Mobile,  Nashville,  Louisville, 
Cincinnati,  and  Chicago ;  New  York,  Philadelphia, 
Boston,  and  Baltimore  sometimes  invading  her  terri- 
tory. In  the  distribution  of  corn  whiskey,  as  well  as 

in  its  manufacture,  she  competes  with  Cincinnati  and 
Louisville,  Indianapolis  and  Peoria.  In  the  manufac- 
ture and  distribution  of  malt  liquors,  St.  Louis  controls 
the  whele  Southern  and  Western  trade,  in  conjunc- 
tion with  Cincinnati  and  Milwaukee.  The  drug  trade 
of  the  lower  Mississippi,  Texas,  Arkansas,  Kansas, 
etc.,  is  controlled  by  St.  Louis.  In  wood  and  willow- 
ware,  St.  Louis  has  all  the  South  and  West,  even 
Tennessee.  One  house  in  this  city  is  known  to  be 
the  largest  distributing  house  in  the  United  States. 
In  queensware,  St.  Louis  supplies  the  Southwest.  In 
stoves  its  only  rivals  are  Cincinnati  and  Pittsburgh. 

It  is  thus  apparent  that  St.  Louis  has  a  productive 
commerce  as  well  as  a  distributive  one.  This  is 
greatly  in  her  favor,  as  the  productive  trade  is  more 
profitable  as  well  as  more  durable  and  certain.  Prop- 
erly defined,  distributive  commerce  includes  all  trade 
which  is  accompanied  by  a  movement  to  or  from  the 
city,  considered  of  commodities  that  are  neither  altered 
nor  produced  within  its  limits.  With  relation  to  this 
form  of  commerce  a  city  is  a  point  of  exchange.  Pro- 
ductive commerce  includes  all  trade  which  exists  or 
arises  between  a  city  and  its  markets  as  a  result  of 
manufacturing  or  altering  commodities  within  ite 
boundaries.  With  relation  to  this  form  of  commerce 
a  city  becomes  a  manufacturing  centre. 

Now,  since  the  influences  which  are  favorable  to 
the  distributive  trade  of  a  city  form  only  one  set  of 
advantages  necessary  to  make  that  city  a  desirable 
manufacturing  centre,  and  since  it  is  possible  that  a 
city  may  be  very  desirable  as  a  point  of  production 
without  having  any  of  the  elements  to  make  it  a  suc- 
cessful point  of  exchange,  it  follows  that  a  city  may 
have  at  least  two  well-defined  areas  of  trade,  one  for 
its  productive  and  the  other  for  its  distributive  com- 
merce. And  it  will,  therefore,  be  desirable  to  learn 
the  position  occupied  by  each  of  these  elements  in 
order  to  arrive  at  the  commercial  situation  and  pros- 
pects of  the  city  under  consideration. 

In  a  given  area  the  relations  of  commerce  to 
avenues  of  transportation  are  so  intimate  and  so  recip- 
rocal, either  capable  of  acting  towards  the  other  as 
cause  or  effect,  that  an  understanding  of  the  one  not 
only  involves  a  knowledge  of  the  other,  but  an  intel- 
ligent consideration  of  either  is  best  promoted  by 
making  it  an  exponent  of  the  other,  and  dividing  the 
former  into  such  areas  or  epochs  as  naturally  pertain 
to  its  correlative. 

The  history  of  railroad  progress  in  the  territory  south 
of  the  Ohio  River  and  south  of  the  State  of  Missouri 
shows  that  prior  to  the  latter  part  of  the  year  1860 
there  were  no  through  rail  trunk  lines  running  north 
and  south  in  any  part  of  said  territory. 



The  trunk  lines  of  transportation  in  this  section 
were  water  highways,  and  while  the  railroad  interests 
of  the  whole  country  were  rapidly  developing  during 
the  twenty  years  previous  to  that  date,  yet  they  had 
not  become  the  leading  commercial  highways.  Hence 
in  the  following  remarks  on  commercial  influences  we 
designate  the  period  prior  to  1860  as  the  era  of  water 
transportation,  or  the  era  of  western  development. 

For  a  like  reason,  since  the  year  1860,  as  the  ten- 
dency of  railroads  in  this  southern  territory  has  been 
so  largely  towards  the  formation  of  through  trunk 
lines,  both  by  the  construction  of  missing  links  and 
by  the  consolidation  of  local  roads,  and  as  the  move- 
ments of  commerce  since  that  date  have  taken  place 
so  essentially  over  railroad  highways  that  water  ave- 
nues have  assumed  a  secondary  position  and  influence, 
the  period  covered  by  the  last  twenty  years  may  be 
commercially  termed  an  era  of  railway  transportation. 

During  the  era  of  western  development  the  com- 
merce of  the  entire  United  States  followed  essentially 
an  east  and  west  movement,  and  this  movement  still, 
as  applied  to  the  total  commerce  of  our  country,  is 
probably  the  largest  one. 

During  the  era  of  railroad  transportation,  most  of 
the  changes  in  the  commercial  highways  of  the  inte- 
rior have  tended  to  foster  a  north  and  south  move- 
ment of  commerce,  and  the  development  of  that  move- 
ment has  been  so  rapid  that  it  promises  to  become  a 
formidable  rival  to  the  ancient  monopoly. 

It  is  a  universal  accompaniment  of  distributive  com- 
merce that  as  railroads  extend  facilities  for  its  move- 
ment, they  are  liable  at  the  same  time  to  give  like 
facilities  to  smaller  as  well  as  larger  centres.  Hence 
the  very  instrument  which  tends  to  develop  a  city's 
distributing  powers  places  the  means  at  the  disposal 
of  its  tributaries  to  make  of  themselves  active  com- 
petitors. In  other  words,  an  extension  of  railway 
facilities  in  a  country  tends  to  increase  the  number 
and  decrease  or  rather  equalize  the  size  of  distributive 
centres.  This  tendency  is  mostly  a  subordinate  one. 
but  it  is  not  on  that  account  to  be  lost  sight  of. 

Furthermore,  in  a  distributive  commerce  ave- 
nues of  transportation  are  always  the  elements  of 
primary  importance  in  marking  out  its  course  and  de- 
fining its  limits,  while  with  productive  commerce  trans- 
portation avenues  may  be  secondary  considerations. 

A  town  may  be  a  very  active  distributing  centre, 
and  all  of  the  elements  of  its  prosperity  appear  to  be 
permanent,  but  every  change  in  its  railway  outlets 
and  avenues  must  vitally  affect  its  welfare  for  better 
or  worse,  according  to  the  nature  of  the  change. 

Examples  of  towns  almost  annihilated  by  changes 
in  transportation  facilities  are  frequently  to  be  found 

in  the  South,  because  in  the  South  commerce  has  been 
almost  wholly  distributive.  The  town  of  Jefferson, 
Texas,  furnishes  a  notable  example.  From  1865  to 
1870,  when  she  formed  the  terminus  of  navigation  on 
Red  River,  and  supplied  with  merchandise  a  section 
through  Texas,  Arkansas,  and  the  Indian  Territory, 
extending  northwest,  west,  and  southwest  for  two  or 
three  hundred  miles,  she  had  ten  thousand  people, 
and  every  prospect  seemed  to  promise  her  lasting 
prosperity.  The  Texas  and  Pacific  Railroad  with  its 
through  connections  was  formed,  passing  through  the 
town  itself,  while  already  to  the  west  the  Houston 
and  Texas  Central,  with  its  supplementary  connection, 
the  Missouri,  Kansas  and  Texas  Railroad,  had  cut  off 
its  far  western  trade,  so  that  to-day  Jefferson  is  a  way 
station,  with  deserted  wharves,  and  her  population  of 
barely  two  thousand  people  are  selling  whole  blocks 
(whose  stores  used  to  rent  for  one  hundred  and  fifty 
and  two  hundred  dollars  per  month)  for  the  bare 
bricks  which  their  walls  contain. 

It  is  true,  therefore,  that  centres  of  distributive 
commerce  are  built  upon  foundations  of  sand,  whilst 
a  city  grown  great  through  a  productive  commerce 
will  always  possess  a  material  element  of  prosperity  ; 
also  that  the  trade  limits  of  a  distributing  centre 
more  nearly  correspond  with  the  area  whose  crops  it 
markets  than  do  such  limits  of  a  productive  commerce, 
the  latter  being  almost  wholly  independent  of  that  area 
as  defining  its  extent  and  location. 

Again,  the  distributive  commerce  of  the  interior 
consists  most  largely  of  an  east  and  west  movement, — 
i.e.,  exchanges  between  points  east  of  the  western 
boundary  of  Pennsylvania  and  north  of  Mason  and 
Dixon's  line,  and  points  west  of  the  western  boundary 
of  Pennsylvania  and  south  of  the  Ohio  River  and 
State  of  Missouri. 

The  era  of  railway  transportation  has  been  also  one 
essentially  of  the  building  up  in  the  West  of  manu- 
facturing industries,  giving  to  small  towns  a  commer- 
cial significance  which  makes  them  important  compet- 
itors for  trade  in  the  South. 

A  single  accompaniment  of  productive  commerce 
may  here  be  mentioned,  which  will  show  how  largely 
the  fostering  of  such  commerce  adds  to  the  wealth  of 
a  city.  The  figures  given  are  underestimates  rather 
than  overestimates,  and  they  embody  the  principle : 

A  ton  of  cast  iron  is  worth,  say $35 

If  made  into  wrought  iron  it  may  have  a  value  of....  **80 

If  the  wrought  iron  be  converted  into  steel  it  is  worth  1 20  to  200 
If  the  steel  be  manufactured  into  agricultural  tools 

it  is  capable  of  bringing,  say 400 

If,  instead,  it  be  converted  into  knife-blades,  they 

will  sell  for 30,000 

Or,  finally,  if  it  be  made  up  into  the  balance-springs 

of  watches  its  value  may  become  over 100,000 



The  factor  of  profit  which  is  thus  under  proper 
circumstances  capable  of  converting  thirty-five  dollars' 
worth  of  cast  iron  into  one  hundred  thousand  dollars' 
worth  of  watch-springs  is  LABOR  ;  and  it  is  evident 
that,  if  these  operations  were  carried  on  in  a  single 
town,  the  added  wealth  which  would  result  to  that 
town  from  the  entering  of  a  single  ton  of  metal  into 
its  productive  commerce  would  be  many  thousand  per 
cent,  of  the  original  value  of  the  material.  The  mere 
handling  of  this  ton  of  metal,  or  the  result  of  its 
entering  into  the  distributive  commerce  of  the  city 
interested,  could  hardly  under  any  circumstances 
amount  to  twenty-five  per  cent,  of  its  original  value. 

And  while  the  above  may  be,  and  undoubtedly  is, 
an  extreme  case,  it  is  nevertheless  a  possible  and  an 
actual  case  in  some  localities ;  and  the  principle  em- 
bodied in  this  single  instance  is  true  of  by  far  the 
largest  proportion  of  manufactured  articles,  viz. :  that 
the  labor  entering  into  their  production  bears  a  larger 
ratio  to  their  value  than  the  actual  cost  of  material. 

This  is  the  sort  of  trade  which  has  made  Boston 
and  Philadelphia  so  rich,  and  contributes  annually 
such  vast  sums  to  the  grand  resources  of  Great  Brit- 
ain. It  is  the  sort  of  trade  which  St.  Louis  expects 
to  control  when  her  resources  are  more  fully  in  play. 

In  the  mean  time,  the  actual  movements  of  pro- 
duce and  merchandise  at  St.  Louis,  as  distinguished 
from  the  possible  and  prospective,  have  been  as  fol- 
lows, taking  the  census  year  for  convenience  of  com- 
parison : 

STATEMENT  stowing  Amount  of  Freight,  in  Tons,  received 

GRAIN  SHIPMENTS  from  St.  Louis  towards  the  east  by  rail,  and  towards  the 
south  by  river  and  by  rail,  each  year,  from  1871  to  1880,  inclusive. 


East  by  Rail. 


By  River.             By  Rail. 



Bushels.               Bushels. 
4,565,973          1,322,457 
6,618,757          2,194,019 
5,920,687          1,874,386 
5,344,534          1,683,478 
3,260,035    '       1,871,022 
4,212,435    |         995,540 
5,691,493          1,373,982 
7,230,422          1,054,221 
8,596,952          1,360,036 
18,978,347          2,646,714 










STATEMENT  showing  the  increase  in  the  commerce,  population,  and  value  of 
property  of  St.  Louis  from  1865  to  1880. 




Per  Cent, 

Arrivals  of  boats...  No. 
Arrivals  of  barges..    " 
Receipts  of  wheat, 
and  flour  reduced 




1  19,838 

3  204,327 


















Shipments  of  wheat, 
and  flour  reduced 

Manufactures       of 

Receipts  of  cotton,  bales 
Receipts  of  pork...bbis. 
Receipts   of    hams 



Receipts  of  lard....    " 
Receipts  of  cattle...  No. 
1    Receipts  of  sheep...    " 
Receipts  of  hogs.  ...    " 

Value  of  real  and  per- 
sonal property  

1  1867.                   8  Decrease.                   3  1866. 

at  St.  Louis  by  each  Bailroad  and  River  for  Ten  Years. 












Missouri  Pacific  R.R.  (Main  Line)  











St.  Louis  &  San  Francisco  Ry  

Wabaah,  St.  Louis  &  Pacific  R.R.  (West  Brch.) 
Chicago,  Alton  &  St.  Louis  R.R.  (Mo.  Div.)... 
St.  Louis,  Iron  Mountain  &  Southern  R.R  
Missouri  Pacific  R.R.  (Texas  Div.)  







Cairo  Short  Line  R  R  

Louisville  &  Nashville  R.R  
St.  Louis  &  Cairo  R  R    

Chicago,  Alton  &  St.  Louis  R.K.  (Main  Line) 
Chicago,  Burlington  &  Quincy  R.R.  (east)  






27  .2  25 



St.  Louis,  Vandalia,  Terre  Haute  &  Ind.  R.R. 
Wabash,  St.  Louis  <fe  Pacific  R.R.  (East'n  Div.) 
•Illinois  &  St.  Louis  R.R  

Wabash.  St.  Louis  &  Pacific  R.R.  (Iowa  Brch.) 
Chicago,  Bur.  &  Quincy  R.R.  (N.  &  N.  W.  Div.) 
St.  Louis,  Keokuk  &  Northwestern  R.R  







Illinois  River  

Ohio  River               





4,500,007  4,108,873  4,119,975  3,896,295 



Total  by  rail  

6,900,622  6,750,575  6,096,524  4,663,078 
802,080      852,410      893,860      688,970 

3,785,307  3,464,388  3,431,220  3,232,770 
714,700      644,485      688,755      663,525 

3,165,093  3,245,178 
732,765      801,055 

Total  by  river  

In  addition  to  the  receipts  of  1880  by  upper  Mississippi  River  by  boats,  there  was  received  198,315  tons  of  lumber,  logs,  and  shingles  by  rafts. 
"  "  1881          "  "  "  "          "  "          356,020     "  "  "  " 

«  «  1882          "  "  "  "          "  "          271,490     "  •'  "  " 



Showiiig  the  Amount  of  Freight,  in  Tons,  shipped  from  St.  Louis  by  each  BaUroml  and  Rioer  for  ten  years. 
















407,030      272,250 
122,787        78,755 
209,604      197,219 
62,346        45,596 
390,069      288,768 
66,555        61,226 
111,609        91,428 
87,037        41,586 
16,391        13,298 
184,975      141,182 
268,309      318,754 







Wabasli,  St.  Louis  <fc  Pac.  R.R.  (West  Brch.)... 
Chicago,  Alton  &  St.  Louts  R.R.  (Mo.  Div.).... 
St.  Louis,  Iron  Mountain  &  Southern  R.R.  ... 
Missouri  Pacific  Railroad  (Texas  Division)  








Chicago,  Alton  &  St.  Louis  R.  R.  (Main  Line). 
_CJ»icago,  Burlington  &  Quiwcy  R.  R.  (east).... 









St.  Louis,  Vandalia,  Tern>  Haute  &  In«l.  R.R. 
Wabash,  St.  Louis  &  Pacific  Ry.  (East'n  Div.) 

Wabash,  St.  Louis  &  Pacific  R  R.  (Iowa  Brch.) 
Chicago,  Bur.  &  Quincy  R.R.  (N.  &  N.  \V.  Div.) 
•-Sf.  Louis,  Keokuk  &  Northwestern  Railroad.. 







Ohio  River  

Red,  Ouachita,  Arkansas,  and  White  Rivers.. 











Total  by  rail  


3,462,912  12,755,680 
884,025  [1,037,525 






1,301,450  1,230,676   1,155.416 
639,095      707,325  j    783,256 

.    '                  i 

Total  by  river  

The  total  tonnage  of  freights  received  at  and 
shipped  from  St.  Louis  each  year  from  1871  to 
1880,  inclusive,  is  indicated  in  the  following  table: 

Calendar  Tons  Received 

Year.  and  Shipped. 

1871 4,913,102 

1872 5,712,229 

1873 5,984,905 

1874 5,835,859 

1875 5,836,840 


Tons  Received 
and  Shipped. 

1876 6,380,150 

1877 6,359,393 

1878 6,995,241 

1879 8,314,909 

1880 10,783,589 

But  St.  Louis  is  not  content  with  these  results,  gi- 
gantic as  they  are,  and  rapid  as  has  been  the  growth 
and  development  of  the  trade  of  which  they  are  the 
indices.  Dr.  Samuel  Johnson,  when  he  was  witness- 
ing the  sale  of  the  plant  and  effects  of  Thrale's 
brewery,  was  asked  what  he  could  find  in  such  a 
scene  to  interest  him.  "  I  see  all  around  me,  sir,"  he 
answered,  ;<  the  potentiality  of  great  riches."  That 
is  what  St.  Louis  beholds  in  her  exceptionally  great 
resources  and  favorable  site,  and  her  people  will  never 
rest  while  these  things,  possessions  and  promises,  re- 
main undeveloped  and  unutilized. 

All  the  cotton  received  at  St.  Louis,  no  matter 
what  its  destination,  and  no  matter  how  consigned, 
Ireaks  bulk  there,  is  handled,  compressed,  and  re- 
shipped.  Thus  St.  Louis  makes  some  profit  out  of 
every  bale  received.  Before  Chicago,  by  means  of  her 
railroad,  lake,  and  canal  facilities,  secured  the  lion's 
share  of  the  east-bound  carrying  trade  in  breadstuffs 
and  provisions,  and  so  had  her  fortune  made,  every 
pound  of  Western  produce  and  Western  merchandise, 
destined  no  matter  where,  up  the  river  or  down,  broke 

bulk  at  St.  Louis,  and  that  city  made  a  profit  in  it. 
This  trade,  this  control  of  trade,  St.  Louis  seeks  once 
more  to  restore  by  renewing  the  supremacy  of  what 
was  its  source  and  medium,  the  Mississippi  River. 

This  is  not  a  dream.  It  is  not  one  of  Governor 
Allen's  "  barren  idealities."  On  the  contrary,  it  is  a 
legitimate  trade  expectation,  which  may  be  realized  at 
almost  any  moment.  St.  Louis  had  this  control  of 
trade  once  through  superior  facilities  and  unrivaled 
cheapness  of  transportation.  The  same  facilities  exist 
now  in  a  much  greater  degree,  and  the  cheapness  also. 
The  opportunity  to  make  full  use  of  them  has  not 
quite  arrived,  on  account  of  various  causes  and  ob- 

But  in  the  mean  time  certain  facts  stand  out  in 
alto  relievo,  and  none  of  the  commercial  rivals  and 
competitors  of  St.  Louis  can  deny  them. 

1st.  Chicago  and  New  York  dread  the  completion 
of  the  Welland  Canal,  because  by  that  route  grain 
from  the  former  city  can  be  delivered  in  Liverpool 
via  the  Strait  of  Belle  Isle  at  rates  with  which  New 
York  cannot  compete.  In  other  words,  Chicago,  to 
maintain  her  grain  trade,  must  transfer  it  from  New 
York  to  Montreal. 

2d.  But  that  route  is  closed  five  months  in  every 
year  by  ice. 

3d.  St.  Louis  is  not  afraid  of  the  competition  of 
Montreal  and  the  Welland  Canal,  because  she  can  de- 
liver grain  in  Liverpool  cheaper  by  the  Mississippi 
River  route  than  it  can  possibly  be  delivered  by  any 
other  route.  This  has  been  proved,  and  will  be 



demonstrated  again  still  more  conclusively.  At 
present  all  that  need  be  shown  in  this  connection  is 
results,  accomplished  facts. 









5  913  272 

9  804  392 


45  000 


15  769  664 



3,585  589 



6  164  838 


1  S7«,(i3!» 



108  867 

5  451  603 



3  578  057 

171  843 

4*101  353 



1  737  237 





308  578 



1  047  794 


1  403  o46 


1  373  969 

1  373  96'J 



1  711  039 






Mr.  Joseph  Nimmo,  Jr.,  in  his  notable  report  of 
1881  on  the  internal  commerce  of  the  country,  says 

"The  regulating  influence  of  the  interior  water  lines  is 
limited  and  conditioned  by  the  fact  that  it  is  operative  with 
respect  to  the  internal  commerce  of  the  country  mainly  through 
the  great  interior  markets,  and  notably  those  of  Milwaukee, 
Chicago,  St.  Louis,  Peoria,  Toledo,  Detroit,  Louisville,  and 
Cincinnati.  This  results  from  the  fact  that  the  movements  of 
commerce  are  directed  by  the  trade  forces  rather  than  by  the 
transportation  forces  of  the  country.  In  the  transportation  of 
the  surplus  products  of  the  Western  and  Northwestern  States 
to  the  seaboard  and  to  foreign  countries,  the  regulating  influ- 
ence of  the  Mississippi  River  is  rendered  effective  mainly 
through  the  markets  of  St.  Louis,  and  the  regulating  influence 
of  the  northern  water  line  is  rendered  effective  mainly  through 
the  markets  of  Milwaukee  and  Chicago,  but  also  to  a  consider- 
able extent  through  the  markets  of  Duluth,  Detroit,  and 

"  The  competition  of  commercial  forces  exerts  an  important 
influence  in  determining  the  relative  magnitude  of  the  various 
trade  currents  of  the  country.  The  constituent  elements  of  the 
trade  forces  of  cities  are,  first,  a  large  community  of  intelligent 
and  enterprising  merchants  having  an  extensive  knowledge  of 
commercial  affairs;  and,  second,  the  requisite  capital  in  the 
hands  of  these  men  available  in  the  pursuits  of  trade.  These 
forces  at  Chicago,  at  Milwaukee,  at  St.  Louis,  and  at  other  com- 
mercial cities  of  the  interior  arrest  the  surplus  products  of  the 
West  in  their  eastward  or  southward  movement,  such  products 
usually  reaching  those  cities  by  rail.  At  these  points  the  option 
is  first  presented  of  transportation  by  water  or  by  rail.  A  thou- 
sand trains  a  day  may  pass  through  towns  situated  on  the  lakes 
or  on  the  rivers  where  these  agencies  and  facilities  for  carrying 
on  a  large  commerce  do  not  exist,  and  yet  the  water  lines  will 
exercise  no  perceptible  influence  over  the  rates  charged  on  the 
railroads.  This  is  strikingly  illustrated  in  the  case  of  the  rail- 
roads which  cross  the  Mississippi  River  over  bridges  at  thirteen 
different  points  between  St.  Paul  and  St.  Louis.  The  river 
rates  exert  no  marked  influence  over  the  rail  rates  from  the  fact 
that  at  very  few  of  those  points  is  there  the  controlling  influ- 
ence of  a  market  for  Western  products  with  its  constituent 
elements,  viz.,  a  body  of  men  educated  in  the  mercantile  pro- 
fession and  controlling  the  requisite  amount  of  capital  actually 
employed  in  trade  or  invested  in  warehouses  and  other  instru- 
mentalities for  the  successful  prosecution  of  trade.  The  rail- 

roads are  not  at  those  points,  in  a  commercial  sense,  tributary 
to  the  river,  but,  on  the  other  hand,  to  the  extent  to  which  the 
river  towns  are  local  markets  for  the  purchase  of  surplus  pro- 
ducts of  the  trans-Mississippi  States,  the  river  becomes  tribu- 
tary to  the  railroads. 

"  It  is  only  at  Chicago,  Milwaukee,  and  a  few  other  lake 
ports,  and  at  St.  Louis  that  direct  competition  between  rail  and 
water  transportation  presents  itself  to  any  considerable  extent, 
in  so  far  as  relates  to  the  regulating  influence  exerted  by  the 
two  great  water  lines  over  the  rates  which  may  be  charged  on 
railroads.  The  extent  to  which  the  regulating  influence  of  the 
two  great  interior  water  lines  is  rendered  operative  through  the 
principal  primary  grain  markets  of  the  country  is  illustrated 
by  the  fact  that  of  the  total  eastern  and  southern  movement  of 
grain,  amounting  during  the  year  1880  to  400,000,000  bushels, 
about  320,000,000  bushels,  or  80  per  cent.,  was  marketed  at  the 
seven  primary  markets  of  the  West,  viz.,  Milwaukee,  Chicago, 
Duluth,  St.  Louis,  Peoria,  Toledo,  and  Detroit ;  and  that  only 
about  80,000,000  bushels  were  shipped  direct  from  the  Western 
and  Northwestern  States  to  the  Atlantic  seaboard. 

"  Of  the  total  grain  receipts  at  St.  Louis  during  the  year 
1880,  amounting  to  47,697,066  bushels,  40,121,783  bushels,  or 
84  per  cent.,  was  received  by  railroads,  and  only  7,575,283 
bushels,  or  16  per  cent.,  by  river;  and  of  the  total  grain  re- 
ceipts at  Chicago  during  the  year  1880,  amounting  to  165,- 
855,370  bushels,  it  appears  that  159,129,984  bushels,  or  96  per 
cent.,  was  received  by  railroads,  and  that  6,725,386  bushels,  or 
only  4  per  cent.,  was  received  by  lake  and  the  Illinois  Canal. 

"About  90  per  cent,  of  the  grain,  85  per  cent,  of  the  pro- 
visions, and  8  per  cent,  of  the  cattle  which  reached  Chicago 
during  the  year  1880  were  actually  marketed  at  that  point; 
and  of  the  shipment  of  those  commodities  from  Chicago,  61  per 
cent,  of  the  flour  and  grain  and  only  10  per  cent,  of  the  pro- 
visions were  shipped  by  lake.  No  live-stock  was  shipped  by 

"About  95  per  cent,  of  the  grain,  97i  per  cent,  of  the  pro- 
visions, and  all  of  the  live-stock  which  reached  St.  Louis  during 
the  year  1880  were  actually  marketed  at  that  point;  and  of  the 
shipments  of  those  commodities  from  that  city,  49  per  cent,  of 
the  flour  and  grain,  38  per  cent,  of  the  provisions,  and  1.28  per 
cent,  of  the  cattle  were  shipped  by  river. 

"The  foregoing  facts  indicate  that  almost  the  entire  work  of 
gathering  up  the  surplus  products  of  the  Western  and  North- 
western States  is  done  by  railroads,  and  that  the  option  of 
transportation  by  water  or  by  rail  is  almost  entirely  confined  to 
shipments  from  Milwaukee,  Chicago,  and  St.  Louis. 

"The  following  table  serves  to  illustrate  the  comparative 
magnitude  of  the  grain  traffic  of  St.  Louis  which  is  diverted  to 
the  Mississippi  River  from  the  railroads  extending  east  from 
that  city  : 


Total  grain  crop  of  the  United  States  during  the 
year  1879 2,704,484,762 

Total  grain  product  of  the  States  of  Illinois,  Wis- 
consin, Minnesota,  Iowa,  Nebraska.  Missouri, 
Kansas,  and  Arkansas,  and  the  Territory  of 
Dakota  during  the  year  1879 1,493,246,213 

Shipments  of  grain  and  flour  during  the  year  1880  at 


Duluth 6,511,100 

Milwaukee 29,691,524 

Chicago 154.377,115 

Peoria 20,544,508 

Detroit 10,366,491 

Toledo 53,372,739 

.St.  Louis 46,675,581 

Total 321,539,058 



St.  Louis  shipments  of  grain  and  flour  :                       Bushels.  "The  merchants  of  St.  Louis,  and  her  citizens  generally, 

Eastward 18,599,889  never  ]ost  faith  in  the  po88ibility  of  developing  a  large  com- 

Bv  river                                                                          20  901,515  merce  by  river  via  New  Orleans,  especially  in  the  exportation 

By  rail 5,800,535  to  foreign  countries  of  the  surplus  products  of  the.  Western  and 

In  other  directions. 373,642  Northwestern  States.      It  has  always  been  believed  that  the 

river  route  not  only  afforded  a  cheaper  avenue  of  transportation 

Total  St.  Louis  shipments 46,675,581 

ic  wcc  n.i  for  8ucn  traffic  than  the  east  and  west  trunk  railroad  lines,  but 

Gram  and  flour  exported  from  New  Orleans 15,750,041 

that  the  increase  of  traffic  upon  the  river  would  so  much  reduce 

SHIPMENTS  IN   TONS  FROM  ST.  LOUIS  DURING  1880.  the  cost  of  transportation  as  greatly  to  increase  the  regulating 

Tons.                 Total.  influence  exerted  by  the  river  rates  over  rail  rates.    Results  al- 

North  :  ready  attained  seem  to  prove  the  correctness  of  this  view." 

By  river 55,260)          157803 

By /ail 102,543  j  In  regard  to  the  transportation  facts  upon  which 

fiV  river                                            145295)  some  of  these  great  expectations  have  been  founded, 

By  rail..'.'".'"!'.!'.!!;;;!;;;.'.".'.'.'."."".'"!'.'.'.  M7VWJ     1>325>00'  We  have  the  following: 

West:  "ST.  Louis  AND 

By  nver .1W15)         818,182  NEW  ORLEANS  TRANSPORTATION  COMPANY. 

By  rail 801,76/1  llo      T 

'  "ST.  Louis,  Feb.  2,  1881. 

By  river                                                       820  555  )  "DEAR  SIR, — As  requested  in  your  note  of  24th  instant,  I 

By  rail 671,661  }      l>WJ,~li  make  reply  to  the  two  inquiries  propounded  by  Mr.  Nimmo,  of 

the  Bureau  of  Statistics  (in  letter  of  January  20th),  as  follows: 

Total  shipments 3,793,20!  „  lgt    j  certainly  do  not  believe  that  a  ^g.  of  m  to  15 

Total  shipments  by  rail 2,755,680  cents  per  100  pounds  between  Mississippi  River  points  and  the 

Total  shipments  by  river MUM!!  ports  of  the  Atlantic  seaboard  could  be  maintained  by  any  of 

Total  shipments  toward  the  South 1,492,216  r 

Shipment  by  river  toward  the  South 820,555  the  railway  lines  without  losing  money. 

Tonnage  of  New  Orleans  exports,  the  product  of  the  "2d.  I  say  without  hesitation,  that  with  a  rate  of  five  cents  per 

Western  and  Northwestern  States,  about 317,000  bushel  on  grain  from  St.  Louis  to  New  Orleans  via  river, 

Mr  Nimmo  adds  that there  being  at  the  same  time  an  average  difference  of  four  cents  in 

ocean  freights  against  New  Orleans  as  compared  with  the  North 
"  From  the  time  of  the  first  settlement  of  St.  Louis  until  ; 

.    ..                  ,.     ,     ,          ,                   ..i  Atlantic  ports,  there  would  be  a  most  decided  diversion  of  gram 
about  the  year  1855,  that  city  was  entirely  dependent  upon  the 

,  i  in  the  direction  of  New  Orleans. 
Mississippi  River  and  its  navigable  tributaries  for  the  means  of 

,  Let  me  add,  however,  that  in  the  uncertain  condition  of  the 
transportation.    During  that  period  it  had  no  competitor  for  the 

,.    e  LI.    »»•    •    •      •  T>-          '  river  (as  regards  depth  of  water)  during  the  period  of  naviga- 
trade  of  the  States  and  Territories  west  of  the  Mississippi  River. 

,  T...     .          ,  ,„.          .                ,  tion,thelownessof  the  rate  of  five  cents  per  bushel  cannot  always 
A  large  part  of  the  States  of  Illinois  and  Wisconsin  was  also  ! 

....     A,                 ,  A.                      .   .                          .  ,,.     j  be  depended  on,  but  with  the  depth  of  water  which  the  contem- 
embraced  within  the  area  of  the  commercial  supremacy  of  St. 

T  plated    improvements   between    Cairo  and  St.  Louis  will  un- 
Louis.     But  during  the  last  twenty-five  years  a  great  change 

.  .  doubtedly  give,  the  time  is  not  far  distant  when  the  rate  named, 
has  taken  place  in  the  conditions  governing  the  commercial 

five  cents  per  bushel,  may  be  continuously  counted  on. 
situation  and  relations  of  that  city,  as  the  result  of  the  exten- 

.,                          ,A,                        „  "Very  truly  yours,                  H.  LOUREY,  President. 
sion  westward  of  the  railroad  system  of  the  country.    By  means 

of  this  extension  of  railroads  all  the  Western  and  Northwestern 

"secretary  Merchants   Exchange. 

States  and  Territories  have  been  brought  into  intimate  commer- 
cial relationships  with  the  lake  ports,  with  the  Atlantic  sea-  "ST.  Louis,  Mo.,  Jan.  26,  1881. 
ports,  and  with  hundreds  of  interior  manufacturing  and  trading  "  DEAR  SIR, — Referring  to  letter  to  you  from  chief  of  Bureau 
points  throughout  the  States  both  east  and  west  of  the  Allegheny   |  of  Statistics,  dated  Washington,  D.  C.,  Jan.  20,  1881,  which 
Mountains.     This  development  of  traffic  over  the  east  and  west  j  letter  you  refer  to  me,  I  give  it  as  my  opinion  that  a  tariff  of 
trunk  railroads  is  unparalleled  in  the  history  of  commerce.  15  cents  per  100  pounds  on  grain  from  St.  Louis  to  the  Atlan- 
"  For  several  years  the  traffic  passing  over  each  one  of  the  tic  seaboard  could  not  be  maintained  by  railway  without  loss  to 
thirteen  railroad  bridges  across  the  Mississippi  River  between  the  companies  carrying  at  such  rate. 

St.  Paul  and  St.  Louis  has  greatly  exceeded  in  magnitude  and  "The  cost  per  ton  per  mile  for  movement  of  freight  over  the 

in  value  the  traffic  upon  the  river   beneath    them.     Through  Pennsylvania  Railroad  and  its  connecting  lines  in  the  year  1879 

these  facilities  of  transportation  tributary  to  Chicago  and  other  was  as  follows,  viz. :  Over  the  Pennsylvania  Railroad  proper, 

lake  ports,  and  also  to  Atlantic  seaports,  St.  Louis  was  for  sev-  4.27  mills  per  ton  per  mile;  over  the  New  Jersey  Division,  1.012 

eral  years  practically  cut  off,  even  from  the  trade  of  important  cents  per  ton  per  mile;  over  its  lines  west  of  Pittsburgh,  4.48 

surplus  grain  and  provision  producing  areas  nearer  to  her  mar-  mills  per  ton  per  mile.     Taking  the  average  distances  on  the 

kets  than  to  those  of  the  lake  ports.     It  was  clearly  foreseen,  different  divisions  gives  4.S9  mills  per  ton  per  mile,  or  $5.20 

therefore,  that  the  growth  of  St.  Louis,  as  a  market  for  the  per  ton,   or  26  cents  per  100  pounds  from   East  St.  Louis  to 

purchase   of  grain    and   other  products   of  the  Western    and  New  York,  reckoning  by  the  shortest  route,  sny  1063  miles. 

Northwestern    States,   was    dependent   upon   the    securing    of  "  These  figures,  I  am  sure,  are  lower  than  the  cost  per  mile 

direct  and  independent  railroad  connections   with  all  parts  of  of  any  other  line  between  St.   Louis  and  the  seaboard,  saying 

those  States ;  for  since  railroads  had  become  the  chief  instru-  nothing  about  the  longer  distance  to  New  York  or  Philadelphia 

ment  of  transportation  in  the  gathering  up  of  these  products,  by  every  other  line.     It  is  evident,  therefore,  that  if  it  costs  26 

it  was  evident  that  only  a  very  small  proportion  of  such  pro-  cents  per  100  pounds  to  transport  property  any  given  distance, 

ducts  could  find  their  way  to  the  St.  Louis  markets  by  river.  a  tariff  of  15  cents  for  the  same  distance  would  be  a  losing  one, 

Such  facilities  for  transportation  by  rail  have  within  the  last  as   Bardwell  Slote  would  say,  'by  a  large  majority:'  or  if  it 

ten  years  been  secured,  a  fact  clearly  developed  by  the  statistics  costs  4.89  mills  to  transport  one  ton  one  mile,  a  tariff  of  2.8  mills 

showing  the  rapid  growth  of  the  commerce  of  that  city.  will  be  a  losing  one. 



"As  to  the  other  question,  viz.,  whether  a  tariff  by  river  of 
five  cents  per  bushel,  St.  Louis  to  New  Orleans,  and  an  average 
difference  of  four  cents  in  ocean  rates  against  New  Orleans,  any 
tariff  above  15  cents  per  100  pounds   from  St.    Louis   to    the 
Atlantic  cities  will  turn  grain  in  the  direction  of  New  Orleans, 
I  do  not  feel  competent  to  answer.     I  should  say,  all  other 
things  being  equal,  it  would.     If  the  same  time  can  be  made  or  j 
nearly  so,  the  same  regularity  in   delivery  be  guaranteed,  the  | 
condition  of  grain  on  delivery  be  as  absolutely  depended  upon,   ' 
and  the  facilities  for  handling,  transferring,  etc.,  be  equally   j 
good  by  river  as  by  rail,  I  do  not  see  why,  at  a  greatly  reduced 
tariff,  the  river  should  not  command  the  business. 

"  Yours  truly,          N.  STEVENS." 

These  facts  were  first  fully  brought  to  the  front  in 
1872  by  the  investigations  of  the  Senate  Committee 
on  Transportation  Routes  to  the  Seaboard,  of  which 
Senator  (afterwards  Secretary)  Windom  was  chairman. 
It  was  shown  to  this  committee  that,  with  a  properly 
regulated  and  normal  commerce,  it  was  simply  impos- 
sible for  railroads,  or  a  combination  of  lakes,  canals, 
and  railroads,  to  compete  in  cheap  transportation  with 
the  Mississippi  River  and  the  ocean  navigation  from 
its  mouth.  It  was  shown  that  the  actual  cost  of  moving 
a  bushel  of  wheat  from  St.  Louis  to  New  Orleans, 
twelve  hundred  and  fifty  miles,  was  only  five  and  a 
quarter  mills,  .00525  of  one  cent. 

It  was  also  shown  that  in  the  final  analysis  freights 
by  rail  could  never  compete  with  water-borne  freights. 
The  following  tables  illustrate  this  conclusively.  Rates 
vary  and  have  changed  materially,  but  ratios  remain 
the  same,  or  very  nearly  the  same : 

STATEMENT  thawing  the  value  of  a  ton  of  wheat  and  one  of  corn  at  a  given 
distance  from  market,  as  affected  by  cost  of  transportation  respectively 
by  canal,  by  railroad,  and  over  the  ordinary  highway. 



Per  Ton  per    Per  Ton  per 
Mile,  Cost.  lMile,Receipti 

Transportation  by  railroads 

Transportation  by  canals,  including  deduc- 
tion, lockage,  etc 

Transportation  by  Erie  Canal,  including  de- 
duction, lockage,  etc 

Transportation  by  rivers,  steam-towage 

Transportation  by  bays 

Transportation  by  ocean 








If  the  cost  of  transportation  be  thus  proportioned, 
17.90  by  rail  to  2.26  by  river  and  1.26  by  ocean, 
she  is  confident  that  she  controls  the  lowest  rates 
by  the  surest  routes.  With  a  perfected  barge  sys- 
tem, the  forwarding  of  the  Mississippi  River  im- 
provements, and  the  construction  of  the  Florida  ship 
canal,  the  great  trade  centre  on  the  Father  of  Waters 
will  return  to  its  old-time  supremacy  in  transportation 
and  deliver  grain  and  other  produce  in  Liverpool  five 
cents  per  bushel,  forty  cents  per  quarter,  cheaper  than 
it  can  be  done  from  any  other  centre  of  distribution. 

The  consequence  will  be  all  grain  and  provisions 
will  go  to  St.  Louis  for  shipment.  But  another  effect 
will  be  that  the  United  States  will  succeed  in  driving 
all  other  competitors  out  of  the  grain  and  provision 
markets,  and  our  sales  on  foreign  account  will  be  en- 
hanced to  that  extent.  Already,  as  the  following 
table  shows,  we  supply  Great  Britain  with  65.4  per 
cent,  of  her  total  purchases  of  wheat  and  flour,  against 
only  3.4  per  cent,  in  1866.  With  this  new  channel 
of  trade  adequately  developed,  we  will  supply  the  re- 
maining 34.6  per  cent.,  and  all  that  will  be  an  incre- 




merit  of  the  trade  of  St.  Louis  : 

STATEMENT  showing  the  quantity  of  wheat  and  wheat  flour  imported  into 
the  United  Kingdom  from  I860  to  1880,  inclusive,  with  the  quantity 
of  the  same  imported  from  the  United  States. 
[Compiled  from  the  Reports  of  the  British  Board  of  Trade.] 











Wheat  and  Wheat  Flour 

Per  Cent,  from  the 
United  States. 

Average  Value  of 
the  total  Wheat 

Average  Value  of 
Wheat  Imported 
from  the  United 






24  T: 

24.i  [ 



$49.50  $24.75 
49.35    24.60 
49.20;  24.45 
49.05    24.30 
48.90    24.15 
48.75    24.00 
48.60    23.85 
48.45    23.70 
48.30    23.55 
48.15;  23.30 
48.00    23.25 
47.85    23.10 
47.70    22.95 
47.55    'J'.'.sn 
47411    22.i;.". 
47.25    22.5(1 
46.96    22.2" 
44.55     111.  MI 

44.411   r.u;:. 

41.25    1  !».5i  i 
:  it.  50      9.75 




"         10  miles  from  market... 
«         20          "               " 
«         30          "               " 
««         40 
«         50          "               " 
«          60           "                  ' 
"          70           "                  ' 
«          80           "                "       .. 
90           "                "        .. 
"        100           "                " 
"        110           "                "       - 
«        120           "                 '       - 
«        130           "                 ' 
»       140          "                '       .. 
"        150           «                 '       .. 
160           "                 '        .. 
»        170           "                 '      ... 
"        320           "                 '      ... 
330           "                 '      ... 
«        340           "                 '      ... 
"        350           "                 '      ... 
"      1000           "                 '      ... 
"      1650           "                 '      ... 
"      1980           "                 '      .- 
"      3300           "                "      ... 
"      4950           "                "      ... 
44      5940           "                "      - 
u      9900           "                 *' 


From  the 
United  States. 


88,877,4(  ui 







Per  Bush. 

Per  Bush. 













We  are  free  to  admit  that  there  are  serious  draw- 
backs to  the  immediate  realization  of  all  these  pleasant 
prospects,  but  none  of  them  seem  to  belong  to  the 
^class  of  any  but  the  preventable  diseases.  Prudence, 
forethought,  wise  management  in  respect  of  legislation, 
economy  of  resources,  careful  selection  of  representa- 
tives, and  liberal  expenditure  when  great  ends  are  to 
be  accomplished  will  bring  to  pass  every  desirable  re- 
sult for  a  city  possessing  already  such  incomparable 
resources.  But  it  will  be  wisest  to  consider  these 
drawbacks  and  obstructions  first,  as  the  presentation 
of  them  may  suggest  the  remedies  which  should  be 
applied.  The  construction  of  the  Eads  jetties  has 
already  taken  away  one  of  these  hindrances  to  com- 
merce. The  cutting  of  the  Florida  ship  canal  and 
the  construction  of  the  Tehuantepec  ship  canal  or 
railway  will  remove  others.  The  benefits  derived 
from  the  jetties  are  very  conspicuous.  It  was  diffi- 
cult to  get  sixteen  feet  of  water  on  the  bar  in  any 
of  the  passes  in  the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi.  Now 
there  is  twenty-six  feet  regularly  maintained.  The 
charge  for  towage  has  in  consequence  been  reduced 
from  a  dollar  and  a  half  per  ton  to  one-third  that 
figure,  and  there  is  a  material  reduction  on  account  of 

But  there  are  other  hindrances  and  obstructions 
not  yet  removed.  The  ice  is  often  troublesome,  not 
below  Cairo,  but  between  that  city  and  St.  Louis. 
The*interruption  to  navigation  from  this  cause,  which 
at  Chicago  gives  the  railroads  a  monopoly  of  traffic 
for  a  hundred  and  forty  days  in  each  year,  occurs 
nearly  every  winter.  During  the  last  seventeen  years 
navigation  has  been  suspended  at  St.  Louis  on  account 
of  ice  as  follows  : 


Winter  of  1865-66,  navigation  suspended 27 


During  the  winters  of  1868-69,  1873-74,  1875-76,  and  1877- 
78,  the  river  was  open,  and  navigation  was  not  suspended. 

The  navigation  of  the  Mississippi  River  is  at  times 
affected  also  by  low  water,  especially  in  that  part  of 
the  river  between  St.  Louis  and  Cairo.  The  enjoy- 
ment to  the  full  extent  of  the  advantages  afforded  by 
the  Mississippi  River  requires  the  employment  of 
steamboats  and  barges  of  large  size  and  drawing 
when  loaded  about  eight  feet  of  water.  At  times, 
however,  the  river  falls  so  as  to  admit  only  of  the  em- 

ployment of  boats  and  barges  loaded  to  draw  not 
more  than  four  feet.  This  greatly  increases  the  cost 
of  transportation.  The  actual  cost  of  transportation 
in  vessels  drawing  only  four  feet  is  said  to  be  nearly 
twice  as  great  as  when  loaded  to  eight  feet. 

This  subject  was  carefully  considered  by  a  select 
Committee  of  the  Senate  on  Transportation  Routes 
to  the  Seaboard  in  their  report  submitted  April  24, 

It  was  found  that  during  the  nine  years  from  1865 
to  1873  the  condition  of  river  navigation  below  the 
city  of  St.  Louis  was  as  follows : 

Average  number  of  days  less  than  4  feet 3$ 

"          over  4  and  less  than  6  feet 52§ 

"  "          over  6  and  less  than  8  feet 103$ 

"  "          over  8  and  less  than  10  feet 694 

"  "          over  10  feet 136§ 

It  appears  from  the  foregoing  table  that  during 
nearly  one-half  of  the  year  the  commerce  of  St. 
Louis  was  more -or  less  affected  by  low  water. 

The  average  stage  of  the  river  below  St.  Louis 
during  the  years  from  1874  to  1880,  inclusive,  was  as 
follows : 






18782 , 

1879s , 






*O  +1 



c  <o 

C    (D 


08  (2 


ce  «S 


•  .u 




^2  a 







ai  — 














No  record. 

No  record. 

















The  interruption  to  the  navigation  of  the  Missis- 
sippi River  at  St.  Louis  on  account  of  ice  and  low 
water  is  of  course  detrimental  to  commerce.  The 
average  annual  duration  of  the  efficient  commercial 
usefulness  of  the  Mississippi  River  is,  however,  con- 
siderably greater  than  is  that  of  the  northern  water 
line.  The  average  time  during  which  navigation  is 
suspended  by  ice  each  year  on  the  Erie  Canal  and  on 
the  Canadian  canal  is  about  five  months.  The  aver- 
age time  each  year  during  which  navigation  has  been 
entirely  suspended  on  the  Mississippi  River  at  St. 
Louis  in  consequence  of  ice  during  the  last  ten  sea- 
sons was  only  thirty-five  days,  and  the  average  time 
each  year  during  which  steamboats  and  barges  could 

1  Closed  for  thirty-six  days  on  account  of  low  water. 
J  Closed  for  sixteen  days  on  account  of  low  water. 
8  Closed  for  forty-one  days  on  account  of  low  water. 
*  Closed  for  four  days  on  account  of  low  water. 



not  be  loaded  to  eight  feet,  in  consequence  of  ice  and 
low  water,  during  the  seven  years  from  1874  to  1880, 
inclusive,  was  only  about  one  hundred  and  twenty- 
six  days,  or  about  three  and  one-fifth  mouths. 

The  suspension  of  navigation  at  St.  Louis  does  not, 
however,  at  any  time  cause  an  entire  suspension  of 
the  river  traffic,  as  during  such  periods  shipments  are 
made  by  rail  from  St.  Louis  to  Cairo,  111.,  and  to  Bel- 
mont,  Mo.,  at  which  points  merchandise  is  trans- 
shipped to  steamers  and  to  barges.  Navigation  is 
seldom,  if  ever,  obstructed  below  Cairo  or  Belmont, 
either  on  account  of  ice  or  low  water. 

The  supposed  injury  to  grain  from  the  heat  and 
humidity  of  the  tropical  belt  between  New  Orleans 
and  the  Florida  capes  has  been  proved  to  be  a  fallacy, 
and  prices  are  not  affected  by  it.  But  the  existence 
of  yellow  fever  more  or  less  nearly  every  season  in  the 
lower  Mississippi  is  an  admitted  hindrance. 

Improvements  in  sanitary  measures  and  precautions 
are  necessary  to  remove  these  obstructions.  They 
are  necessary  equally  to  the  commercial  existence  of 
the  towns  and  cities  which  are  exposed  to  these  as- 
saults of  pestilence,  and  within  two  years  very  great 
improvements  have  been  effected,  especially  in  sewer- 
age and  drainage,  at  New  Orleans  and  Memphis. 
Much  still  remains  to  be  done,  of  course,  but  a 
good  beginning  has  been  made,  and  the  work  will  go 

The  improvement  of  the  Mississippi  River  has  also 
been  undertaken  upon  an  expensive  and  comprehen- 
sive system,  which,  when  it  is  completed,  is  expected 
to  make  this  noble  river  safely  and  easily  navigable  at 
nearly  all  seasons.  If  that  should  be  accomplished, 
it  is  hoped  that  a  reciprocity  treaty  with  Mexico,  and 
an  equitable  trade  treaty  with  Spain,  in  respect  of  our 
commodities  in  the  ports  of  Cuba  and  Porto  Rico,  will 
give  St.  Louis,  through  her  combinations  of  railroads 
and  water  routes,  a  most  extensive  and  valuable  trade 
in  tropical  products.  Hon.  W.  M.  Burwell,  of  New 
Orleans,  in  a  communication  made  to  the  Windom 
Congressional  Committee  on  Transportation  Routes  in 
1873,  said,— 

"  The  subject  upon  which  I  am  specially  requested  to  report 
is  in  regard  to  the  state  of  commerce  between  the  valley  of  the 
,  Mississippi  and  the  Spanish-American  States.  There  are  many 
of  us  who  believe  that  the  trade  lines  of  latitude  cross  above  us, 
and  that  a  very  large  proportion  of  the  western  productions 
will  move  directly  to  Atlantic  ports  for  exportation,  as  they  will 
and  have  received  the  foreign  importations  through  the  same 
ports.  I  would  say  that  in  the  estimation  of  many  in  this  city, 
merchants  and  others,  the  most  important  object  of  improving 
the  Mississippi  River  will  be  to  establish  a  direct  line  of  com- 
munication between  the  immense  productive  interior  of  the 
West  and  the  consuming  markets  of  and  beyond  the  tropics. 
There  is  a  physical  impediment  in  the  way  which  we  ask  Con- 

gress to  remove;  but  there  are  diplomatic  impediments  also 
which  are  even  greater,  as  far  as  that  line  of  trade  is  concerned, 
than  the  physical  impediments  to  which  I  referred.  The  diplo- 
matic impediments  consist  in  the  want  of  reciprocal  trade- 
treaties  between  the  United  States  and  the  Spanish-American 
States  that  are  adjacent  to  or  lie  south  of  us.  Gentlemen  know, 
and  especially  members  of  the  Senate  of  the  United  States,  bet- 
ter than  we  do,  the  precise  state  of  the  treaties  between  the 
United  States  and  the  Spanish-American  powers,  and  they  will 
remember  that,  with  the  exception  of  a  few  special  conventions, 
there  have  been  scarcely  any  changes  made  in  the  treaty  rela- 
tions of  those  two  great  interests  since  almost  the  origin  of  the 
government.  Almost  all  our  trade-treaties,  as  I  understand,  are 
based  on  the  phrase  of  'the  most  favored  nations;'  and  while 
such  are  the  terms  of  our  commercial  treaties  with  Spain,  and 
while  it  is  true  that  we  can  carry  American  provisions  or  Amer- 
ican manufactures  into  Spanish  possessions  on  the  same  terms 
with  any  other  power,  yet  when  the  fact  is  that  we  are  the 
only  people  producing  corn  and  grain  and  hog  products,  that 
we  do  send  to  the  Spanish-American  possessions,  it  is  perfectly 
plain  that  that  which  is  a  tax  on  the  trade  of  the  most  favored 
nations  is  practically  an  oppressive  tax  upon  the  trade  of  the 
United  States.  The  Spanish  tax  in  Cuba  is  40  cents  on  the 
bushel  of  corn,  which  is  altogether  equivalent  to  the  entire  cost 
of  transportation  from  Iowa  to  New  York.  The  tax  there  is 
$55  on  an  American  horse,  $19  on  a  mule,  $8  on  a  barrel  of 
flour,  and  3J  cents  on  lard;  and  it  is  plain  that  a  tax  of  80  per 
cent.,  which  is  the  average  upon  the  products  almost  exclu- 
sively marketed  by  Americans,  is  an  excessive  tax  when  con- 
trasted with  the  American  tax  upon  the  products  of  Cuba.  We, 
as  I  understand,  only  tax  two  of  the  principal  products  of  Cuba. 
We  admit  her  coffee  duty  free,  and  we  impose  a  tax  of  some- 
thing upwards  of  two  cents  on  sugar,  and  a  tax  of  some  75  per 
cent,  on  tobacco  manufactured  and  not  manufactured." 

Ex-President  Grant  has  some  very  "advanced" 
and  decided  views  upon  this  subject,  and  it  is  be- 
lieved that,  with  a  reciprocity  treaty  with  Mexico  and 
the  navigation  of  the  Mississippi  properly  improved, 
St.  Louis  could  control  the  entire  grocery  trade  of  the 
Mississippi  valley,  and  refine  all  the  sugar  consumed 
by  thirty  million  people.  The  vessels  taking  corn, 
cotton,  and  grain  and  provisions  to  Europe  could 
return  via  Trinidad  and  the  Caribbean  Sea,  picking 
up  cargoes  of  raw  sugar  on  their  way  around  the 
Gulf,  and  thus  freight  would  be  saved  on  both  out- 
ward and  inward  cargoes.  These  countries,  together 
with  South  America,  have  a  commerce  the  total 
annual  value  of  which  exceeds  eight  hundred  million 

But  it  is  imperative  to  improve  the  channel  of  the 
river  before  this  commerce  can  be  invited  in.  The 
general  plan  of  the  improvements  which  are  now  in 
process  was  succinctly  sketched  in  a  letter  from  Col. 
J.  H.  Simpson,  United  States  engineer,  to  Hon.  E. 
0.  Stanard,  of  the  Union  Merchants'  Exchange,  St. 
Louis,  on  Oct.  29,  1873. 

But  a  much  more  comprehensive  plan  is  under 
consideration,  involving  the  expenditure,  probably,  of 
more  than  a  hundred  millions  before  the  improvements 



are  completed  for  the  whole  river  upon  a  scale  com- 
mensurate with  the  commerce  involved. 

'•  Xo  adequate  estimate  can  be  formed  of  the  value  of  the  com- 
merce on  the  Mississippi  River,  nor  of  the  value  of  the  total 
commerce  of  the  towns  situated  upon  it.  An  idea  of  the  magni- 
tude of  this  commerce  may,  however,  be  formed  when  it  is  con- 
sidered that  the  value  of  the  commerce  of  the  cities  and  towns 
on  the  Ohio  Iliver  amounted  to  the  enormous  sum  of  one  billion 
six 'hundred  and  twenty-three  million  dollars  in  1873.  The 
national  government  has  provided  no  means  of  arriving  at  a 
knowledge  of  such  important  facts  as  this  in  regard  to  the  in- 
ternal commerce  of  the  country.  The  collection  of  the  necessary 
data  from  private  sources,  and  from  data  prepared  by  boards  of 
trade,  State  and  city  governments,  would  alone  require  the 
constant  labor  of  one  person  for  a  year. 

"Not  only  has  the  commerce  of  the  Mississippi  River  been 
crippled  by  the  existence  of  the  bar  at  its  mouth,  but  the  value 
of  the  river  above  is  greatly  depreciated  by  obstructions  which 
may  be  overcome  very  readily  by  engineering  skill,  and  at  an 
expense  quite  insignificant  in  comparison  either  with  the  present 
value  of  its  commerce,  or  with  the  increase  of  trade  which  may 
be  expected  as  the  natural  result  of  such  improvements. 
Hitherto  the  improvement  of  the  Mississippi  has  been  carried 
on  merely  by  sporadic  efforts.  Appropriations  have  from  time 
to  time  been  made  and  money  expended,  without  any  general 
plan  as  to  the  ultimate  results  which  were  to  be  attained.  The 
committee  recommend  that  the  necessary  surveys  and  estimates 
be  made  at  the  earliest  practicable  moment,  in  order  to  mature 
a  plan  for  the  radical  improvement  of  the  river,  and  of  all  its 
navigable  tributaries. 

"  Such  a  plan  should  comprehend  the  establishment  of  a  given 
depth  of  water  on  the  Mississippi  River  in  some  such  manner  as 
the  following  : 

"  1st.  Improvements  designed  to  secure  a  depth  of  from  eight 
to  ten  feet  from  St.  Louis  to  New  Orleans  at  the  lowest  stages 
of  the  river. 

"  2d.  Improvements  designed  to  secure  a  depth  of  five  feet  at 
the  lowest  stages  between  St.  Louis  and  St.  Paul. 

"  3d.  Improvements  designed  to  secure  a  depth  of  four  and 
one-half  feet  in  the  river  above  St.  Anthony's  Falls. 

"  Having  adopted  a  plan  of  this  kind  for  the  radical  improve- 
ment of  the  river,  all  works  should  be  carried  out  with  this 
general  object  in  view. 

"  It  is  much  more  practicable  to  establish  such  a  plan  now  than 
it  was  a  few  years  ago,  for  the  reasons  that  the  successes  and 
failures  of  past  efforts  have  enabled  engineers  to  discover  the 
nature  of  the  difficulties  which  will  be  met,  and  to  adopt  the 
best  methods  of  improvement.  Diverse  opinions  still  exist 
among  some  of  our  ablest  engineers  as  to  the  best  means  to  be 
adopted  in  specific  cases,  but  it  is  believed  that  sufficient  practical 
knowledge  has  already  been  gained  to  determine  a  general  plan 
of  future  operations,  both  in  regard  to  the  Mississippi  River  and 
its  principal  navigable  tributaries.  The  time  has  arrived  for 
orough  measures,  and  the  necessary  plans  and  estimates  upon 
ich  such  measures  must  be  based  should  be  prepared  at  once. 
•'  It  is  impossible  to  overestimate  the  commercial  results  likely 
to  follow  such  improvements.  With  the  well-established  facts 
before  us  in  regard  to  the  much  greater  cheapness  of  transport 
by  navigable  rivers  than  by  railways,  it  cannot  be  doubted  that 
Etich  improvements  would  increase  the  commerce  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi very  greatly,  and  at  the  same  time  afford  relief  to  a 
large  area  in  the  Western  States  now  fettered  in  its  growth  and 
prosperity  by  the  cost  of  transporting  agricultural  products  to 
both  home  and  foreign  markets."  l 

Such  is  the  noble  perspective  of  the  aspirations  of 
St.  Louis  for  the  commerce  of  the  future  :  the  centre 
of  a  valley  of  magnificent,  continental  proportions, 
gathering  up  the  products  of  hundreds  of  millions  of 
intelligent  people,  cultivating  the  soil  of  the  most  fer- 
tile of  regions,  supplying  the  world  with  their  pro- 
ducts, and  supplying  the  producers  in  return  with  all 
the  merchandise  which  enters  into  their  consumption. 
These  hundreds  of  millions  of  people  will  be  brain- 
workers  and  machine-workers,  and  the  volume  of  their 
products  will  be  stimulated  and  augmented  in  propor- 
tion to  the  grand  culmination  of  their  intelligence, 
until  human  force  will  find  itself  the  conductor  of  a 
grand  and  perfected  mechanism  of  subsidiary  forces 
such  as  the  world  never  before  saw  at  play. 

Confidence  of  the  Citizens  of  St.  Louis  in  the 
Natural  Advantages  and  Future  Destiny  of  their 
City. — We  may  now  proceed  to  consider  how  and  how 
greatly  the  several  constituents  of  a  great  and  permanent 
volume  of  trade,  production,  conversion,  and  exchange 
have  each  in  their  turn,  by  the  force  of  natural  and 
acquired  advantages,  contributed  to  make  St.  Louis  a 
trade  centre.  It  is  first  to  be  noted,  however,  that 
from  the  very  beginning  the  people  of  St.  Louis  have 
been  conscious  of  its  transcendent  natural  advantages 
and  confident  of  its  destinies  as  the  trade  centre  of  the 
America  of  the  future.  This  has  been  the  case  from 
the  time  of  Henry  M.  Brackenridge's  first  remark- 
able horoscope  of  the  infant  town's  destiny  down  to 
the  day  of  the  abortive  "  convention"  to  make  St. 
Louis  the  capital  of  the  United  States.2 

1  Such  was  the  view  of  theWiudom  Committee  in  1873. 

2  The  enterprise  was  premature,  and  therefore  not  so  wise  as 
it  might  have  been,  but  it  has  been  laughed  at  probably  more 
than  it  deserved.  At  present  it  may  be  said  to  sleep,  for  no  one 
can  pronounce  it  dead  while  the  power,  population,  and  wealth 
of  the  United  States  continue  to  gravitate  so  strongly  towards 
the  heart  and  centre  of  the  valley  of  the  Mississippi.  The 
centre  of  population,  which  is  now  in  Kentucky,  just  west  of 
Cincinnati,  is  moving  upon  a  parallel  of  latitude  that  will  take 
it  to  St.  Louis  before  A.D.  1900,  and  at  that  date  more  than 
two-thirds  of  the  members  of  the  House  of  Representatives  will 
be  elected  from  districts  west  of  the  meridian  of  Pittsburgh, 
which  was  a  far  western  frontier  town  at  the  day  when  the  site 
of  the  Federal  city  was  chosen  upon  the  Potomac.  As  a  matter 
of  record,  some  of  the  proceedings  of  the  "  Capital  Convention" 
are  worth  preserving.  It  assembled  in  the  hall  of  the  Mercantile 
Library  on  the  afternoon  of  Oct.  20, 1869,  and  was  called  to  order 
by  L.  R.  Shryock,  who  was  followed  in  prayer  by  Rev.  R. 
G.  Bransk,  of  the  Central  Presbyterian  Church.  The  States 
and  Territories  which  were  represented  were  Alabama,  Illinois, 
Indiana,  Iowa,  Kentucky,  Kansas,  Louisiana,  Colorado,  Alaska, 
Montana,  Nebraska,  New  Mexico,  Oregon,  Pennsylvania,  Ten- 
nessee, Utah,  :ind  .Missouri, — 17.  The  delegate's  from  the  last- 
named  State  wero  Governor  J.  W .  McClurg,  John  Hogan, 
E.  0.  Stanard,  Enos  Clark,  B.  Poepping,  G.  A.  Mozier,  George 
Thelenius,  T.  T.  Tracy,  M.  L.  DeMotte,  James  H.  Birch,  A.  J. 
HarJan,  H.  J.  Drumond,  F.  Muench,  G.  R.  Smith,  W.  Galland. 



We  could  produce,  if  it  were  necessary  and  we  had 
the  space,  a  long  chain  of  testimony  from  the  earliest 
period  down  to  the  present  day  to  show  how  confident 
the  thinking  people  of  St.  Louis  have  always  been  in 

John  D.  Caton,  of  Illinois,  was  made  president,  with  a  vice- 
president  for  each  State  and  Territory,  and  a  staff  of  secretaries. 

Mr.  Medill,  of  Illinois,  read  the  following  as  the  report  of  the 
committee  on  resolutions  : 

"WHEREAS,  The  present  site  of  the  national  capital  was  se- 
lected as  the  most  central  point  when  the  people  of  this  repub- 
lic, only  a  few  millions  in  number,  inhabited  only  a  narrow 
strip  of  country  along  the  Atlantic  coast;  and, 

"  WHEREAS,  The  population  of  this  republic  has  increased 
thirteen-fold  since  then,  and  spread  over  a  vast  continent  of 
which  the  States  in  existence  when  the  seat  of  government  was 
located  formed  only  the  eastern  edge;  and, 

"  WHEREAS,  The  present  location  of  the  national  capital  is 
notoriously  inconvenient  in  times  of  peace,  and,  as  the  darkest 
pages  of  our  national  history  demonstrate,  in  times  of  war  or 
domestic  turbulence  is  so  dangerously  exposed  as  to  require 
vast  armaments  and  untold  millions  of  money  for  its  especial 
defense;  and, 

"  WHEREAS,  All  the  reasons  which  caused  the  location  of  the 
seat  of  government  where  it  now  is  have  by  the  enormous  de- 
velopment of  the  country  and  a  corresponding  change  in  the 
wants  of  the  people  become  utterly  obsolete;  therefore, 

"  Resolved,  1.  That  it  is  absurd  to  suppose  that  the  handful 
of  inhabitants  in  1789,  just  emerging  from  colonial  vassalage, 
before  steamboats,  railways,  telegraphs,  or  power-presses  were 
dreamed  of,  or  a  mile  of  turnpike  or  canal  constructed,  pos- 
sessed the  authority  or  desired  to  exercise  the  power  of  fix- 
ing the  site  of  the  capital  forever  on  the  banks  of  the  Potomac, 
against  the  will  and  the  interest  of  the  hundreds  of  millions  who 
might  come  after  them. 

"  2.  That  the  people  have  endured  the  present  illy-located 
capital  for  three-quarters  of  a  century,  patiently  waiting  for 
the  vast  territory  of  the  Union  to  be  peopled  and  organized 
into  States,  and  until  the  centre  of  population,  area,  and 
wealth  could  be  determined,  when  a  permanent  place  of  resi- 
dence for  the  government  could  be  selected.  That  time  has 
now  come;  all  sectional  issues  are  settled,  all  dangerous  domes- 
tic variances  are  disposed  of,  a  new  era  has  been  entered  upon, 
and  a  new  departure  taken. 

"  3.  That  in  the  language  of  James  Madison,  in  the  Congress 
of  1789,  '  an  equal  attention  to  the  rights  of  the  community  is 
the  basis  of  republics.  If  we  consider  the  effects  of  legisla- 
tive power  on  the  aggregnte  community,  we  must  feel  equal  in- 
ducements to  look  to  the  centre  in  order  to  find  the  proper  seat 
of  government.'  This  equal  attention  has  not  and  cannot  be 
given  to  the  interests  and  rights  of  the  people  so  long  as  the 
capital  is  located  in  an  obscure  corner  of  the  Union. 

"  4.  That  the  vast  and  fertile  region  known  as  the  Mississippi 
valley  must  for  all  time  be  the  seat  of  empire  for  this  continent 
and  exert  the  controlling  influence  in  the  nation,  because  it  is 
homogeneous  in  its  interests  and  too  powerful  ever  to  permit 
the  outlying  States  to  sever  their  connection  with  the  Union. 
This  vast  plain  will  always  be  the  surplus  food-  and  fibre-pro- 
ducing portion  of  the  continent,  and  the  great  market  for  the 
fine  fabrics  and  tropical  productions  of  other  sections  of  the 
republic.  .  .  .'  This  immense  basin  must  have  numerous  out- 
lets and  channels  of  cheap  and  swift  communication  by  water 
and  rail  with  the  seaboard  for  the  egress  of  its  products  and 
ingress  of  its  exchanges.  Therefore  whatever  policy  the  gov- 
ernment may  pursue  that  tends  to  multiply,  improve,  or  enlarge 

the  city's  future  and  its  destinies.  This  has  made 
them  calm  even  to  the  appearance  of  apathy,  equally 
in  times  of  high  tide  and  times  of  low,  when  pros- 
perity was  at  its  flush  and  when  evil  fortune  and  dis- 
aster were  being  drained  down  to  the  very  dregs. 
They  have  never  been  in  a  fever  uor  in  a  collapse, 
because  they  have  always  felt  secure.  A  few  ex- 

these  arteries  of  commerce  must  result  in  common  advantage 
to  the  whole  Union,  to  the  seaboard  States  equally  with  those 
of  the  centre. 

"5.  That  the  natural,  convenient,  and  inevitable  place  for 
the  capital  of  the  republic  is  in  the  heart  of  the  valley,  where 
the  centre  of  population,  wealth,  and  power  is  irresistibly  grav- 
itating, where  the  government,  surrounded  by  numerous  mil- 
lions of  brave  and  Union-loving  citizens,  would  be  forever  safe 
against  foreign  foes  or  sectional  seditions,  and  where  it  would 
neither  require  armaments  nor  standing  armies  for  its  protection. 

"6.  That  while  advocating  the  removal  of  the  seat  of  gov- 
ernment to  the  Mississippi  valley,  we  do  not  mean  to  serve  the 
interests  of  any  particular  locality,  but  that  we  urge  Congress 
to  appoint  a  commission  for  the  purpose  of  selecting  a  conve- 
nient site  for  the  national  capital  in  the  great  valley  of  the 
Mississippi,  pledging  ourselves  to  be  satisfied  with  and  to  abide 
by  the  decision  to  be  arrived  at  by  the  National  Legislature. 

"7.  That  in  urging  the  removal  of  the  national  capital  from 
its  present  inconvenient,  out-of-the-way,  and  exposed  location 
in  the  far  East  we  are  in  earnest,  and  that  we  shall  not  cease 
in  our  efforts  until  that  end  is  accomplished,  firmly  believing 
that  the  absolute  necessity  of  the  removal  will  become  more 
apparent  every  day,  and  the  majority  of  the  American  people 
will  not  long  permit  their  interests  and  conveniences  to  be  dis- 

''  8.  That  the  removal  of  the  national  capital  being  only  a 
question  of  time,  we  emphatically  oppose  and  condemn  all  ex- 
penditures of  m'oney  for  enlargement  of  old  government  build- 
ings and  the  erection  of  new  ones  at  the  present  seat  of  the 
national  government  as  a  useless  and  wanton  waste  of  the  prop- 
erty of  the  people." 

Mr.  Clark,  of  Kansas,  offered  the  following  resolution  : 

"  Resolved,  That  this  convention  do  recommend  and  request 
all  congressional  nominating  conventions  in  the  various  States, 
without  distinction  of  party,  to  incorporate  in  their  platform  a 
demand  for  the  removal  of  the  national  capital  to  a  more  cen- 
tral and  convenient  locality." 

Mr.  Jones,  of  Illinois,  moved  to  strike  out  "without  distinc- 
tion of  party."  Adopted. 

On  the  suggestion  of  Mr.  Hogan,  of  Missouri,  the  following 
was  added  to  the  resolution  : 

"And  that  the  State  Legislatures  instruct  their  senators  in 
Congress  to  advocate  and  vote  for  such  a  proposition." 

Mr.  Carr,  of  Illinois,  offered  the  following  resolution : 

"  Resolved,  That  a  standing  committee  of  one  from  each  State 
here  represented  be  appointed  by  this  convention,  to  which  the 
president  of  this  convention  shall  be  added,  to  act  as  a  '  per- 
manent committee  upon  the  subject  of  capital  removal,'  with 
power  to  act  on  behalf  of  this  convention,  and  to  publish  an 
address  to  the  people  of  this  country,  with  power  to  call  an- 
other convention  at  such  time  in  the  future  as  they  may  deem 
expedient  and  proper." 

An  executive  committee  was  appointed,  of  which  the  chair- 
man of  the  convention  was  made  president  and  L.  U.  Reavis 
secretary,  and  after  a  harmonious  interchange  of  views  and  a 
good  many  speeches  the  convention  adjourned. 



amples,  taken  hap-hazard,  will  suffice  to  illustrate 
this  equanimity  and  this  unvarying  confidence  in  their 
own  resources. 

From  the  Missouri  Gazette,  June  20,  1811 : 

"We  are  happy  to  find  that  a  spirit  of  enterprise  and  indus- 
try is  every  day  manifesting  itself  among  the  people  of  this  Ter- 
ritory. They  begin  to  be  convinced  that  the  peltry  and  fur 
trade  is  diminishing  in  value,  and  that  it  is  necessary  to  give 
up  in  part  the  old  staple,  and  turn  their  attention  to  the  more 
important  one  of  lead.  During  the  last  two  weeks  several 
boats  have  left  this  place  in  order  to  enlarge  the  mineral  estab- 
lishments made  many  years  ngo  by  Julien  Dubuque  at  a  place 
called  the  '  Spanish  Mines,'  on  the  Mississippi. 

"  The  present  adventurers  have  become  the  purchasers  of  a 
part  of  these  mines  under  an  order  of  the  General  Court  of  this 
Territory,  and  have  taken  with  them  near  one  hundred  hands, 
provided  with  all  the  implements  necessary  for  mining  and  car- 
rying on  the  lead  business." 

The  same,  March  1,  1809 : 

"The  culture  of  hemp  has  occupied  the  attention  of  our 
farmers,  and  a  rope-walk  will  shortly  be  erected  in  this  town. 
Thus  we  have  commenced  the  manufacturing  of  such  articles  as 
will  attract  thousands  of  dollars  to  our  Territory  ;  thus  we  will 
progress  in  freeing  John  Bull  or  Jack  Ass  of  the  trouble  of 
manufacturing  for  us." 

The  same,  July  17,  1813: 

"In  despite  of  the  savages,  Indians  and  British,  this  country 
is  progressing  in  improvements.  A  red  and  white  lead  manufac- 
tory has  been  established  in  this  place  by  a  citizen  of  Philadel- 
phia by  the  name  of  Hartshog.  This  enterprising  citizen  has 
caused  extensive  works  to  be  erected,  to  which  he  has  added  a 
handsome  brick  house  in  our  principal  street  for  retailing 
merchandise.  We  understand  that  his  agents  here  have  already 
sent  several  thousand  dollars'  worth  of  manufactured  lead  to 
the  Atlantic  States." 

In  1816  a  bank  was  found  to  be  necessary.  The 
citizens  at  once  subscribed  the  stock  and  started  one. 
It  fell  soon  into  financial  straits.  The  citizens  re- 
newed its  capital,  doubled  it,  and  started  another  bank 
with  three  times  as  much  capital.  The  confidence 
with  which  J.  B.  C.  Lucas  and  Auguste  Chouteau 
kept  themselves  poor,  almost  penniless,  by  investing 
all  their  money  in  lands  and  never  selling  was 
matched  by  the  composure  of  Manuel  Lisa  in  risking 
all  the  profits  of  his  fur-trade  adventure  in  a  water- 
front merchant's  mill,  an  experiment  as  yet  untried. 
We  have  elsewhere  quoted  from  Paxton's  first  St. 
Louis  directory,  1821.  In  concluding  his  summary 
of  beings  and  havings  Paxton  said,  "  St.  Louis  has 
grown  very  rapidly.  There  is  not,  however,  so  much 
improvement  going  on  at  this  time,  owing  to  the 
check  caused  by  the  general  and  universal  pressure 
that  pervades  the  country.  This  state  of  things  can 
only  be  temporary  here,  for  it  possesses  such  perma- 
nent advantages  from  its  local  and  geographical  situa- 
tion that  it  must  ere  some  distant  day  become  a  place 
of  great  importance,  being  more  central  with  regard 

to  the  whole  territory  of  the  United  States  than  any 
other  considerable  town,  and  uniting  the  advantage 
of  the  three  great  rivers,  Mississippi,  Missouri,  and 
Illinois,  of  the  trade  of  which  it  is  the  emporium." 
In  1831  the  press  said  the  same  thing.  The  city 
was  growing  rapidly.  Fine,  substantial  houses  were 
being  built.  The  arts  and  useful  manufactures  were 
multiplying  and  improving ;  "  mills,  breweries,  me- 
chanical establishments,  all  seem  to  be  advancing 
successfully  for  the  good  of  the  country,  and,  we  hope, 
for  the  great  profit  of  our  enterprising  and  industrious 
fellow-citizens.  The  trade  and  navigation  of  this 
port  are  becoming  immense.  Steamboats  are  daily 
arriving  and  departing  from  east,  west,  north,  and 
south,  and  as  this  place  has  decided  advantages  over 
all  the  ports  on  the  Ohio  River  for  laying  up  and 
repairing,  we  have  no  doubt  that  in  a  few  years  the 
building  and  repairing  of  steam-engines  and  boats 
will  become  one  of  the  most  important  branches  of 
St.  Louis  business.  We  have  all  the  materials,  wood 
and  metal,  in  abundance  and  of  the  best  quality. 
Already  we  have  a  foundry,  which,  it  is  hoped,  will 
soon  rival  the  best  in  Cincinnati  and  Pittsburgh,  and 
many  skilled  and  enterprising  mechanics.  A  bright 
prospect  is  before  us,  and  we  look  confidently  to  the 
day,  and  that  a  not  distant  one,  when  no  town  on  the 
western  waters  will  rank  above  St.  Louis  for  industry, 
wealth,  and  enterprise."  In  1835  again :  "  The 
prosperity  of  our  city  is  laid  broad  and  deep.  Much 
as  we  repudiate  the  lavish  praises  which  teem  from 
the  press,  and  little  as  we  have  heretofore  said,  we 
cannot  suffer  the  occasion  to  pass  without  a  few  re- 
marks on  the  changes  which  are  going  on  around 
us.  ...  A  tract  of  land  was  purchased  by  a  gentle- 
man now  living,  as  we  have  understood,  for  two  bar- 
rels of  whiskey,  which  is  now  worth  half  a  million  of 
dollars.  ...  No  one  who  consults  the  map  can  fail 
to  perceive  the  foresight  which  induced  the  selection 
of  the  site  on  which  the  city  is  founded.  She  al- 
ready commands  the  trade  of  a  larger  section  of  terri- 
tory, with  a  few  exceptions,  than  any  other  city  in 
the  Union.  With  a  steamboat  navigation  more  than 
equal  to  the  whole  Atlantic  seaboard,  with  internal 
improvements  projected  and  in  progress,  with  thou- 
sands of  immigrants  spreading  their  habitations  over 
the  fertile  plains  which  everywhere  meet  the  eye,  who 
can  deny  that  we  are  fast  verging  to  the  time  when 
it  will  be  admitted  that  this  city  is  the  (  Lion  of  the 
West.1  " 

In  1839,  Rev.  Dr.  Humphrey  wrote  some  "  Letters 
by  the  Way,"  in  one  of  which  we  find  St.  Louis  de- 
scribed and  its  future  once  more  prognosticated. 
Says  the  learned  divine, — 



"St.  Louis  is  larger  than  I  had  supposed,  and  appears  to  be 
advancing  more  rapidly  than  any  other  town  that  I  have  seen 
in  the  West.  The  city  proper  now  contains  about  fifteen  thou- 
sand inhabitants,  and  there  are  nearly  as  many  more  without 
the  limits  in  the  immediate  neighborhood.  Many  hundreds  of 
houses  were  built  last  year,  notwithstanding  the  pressure  of  the 
times,  and  many  more  are  going  up  this  year.  Rents  are 
enormously  high,  higher  than  in  any  eastern  city,  not  except- 
ing New  York  itself,  and  I  believe  higher  than  anywhere  else  on 
the  continent  of  America.  For  a  handsome  two-story  brick 
house,  with  one  parlor  in  front,  you  would  have  to  pay  seven 
or  eight  hundred  dollars  per  annum.  St.  Louis  must,  from  its 
position,  become  a  very  large  commercial  city,  and  there  is  no 
prospect  that  any  other  town  on  the  Mississippi  above  New 
Orleans  will  be  able  to  compete  with  it.  Already  the  landing, 
covered  with  iron  and  lead  and  all  kinds  of  heavy  goods,  re- 
minds you  of  one  of  the  front  streets  of  New  York  or  Phila- 
delphia. But  why  don't  they  build  wharves  here? 

"  In  the  lower  and  much  the  oldest  part  of  the  town,  where 
the  French  chiefly  reside,  the  streets  are  narrow  and  filthy. 
The  buildings  are  for  the  most  part  small,  and  constructed 
with  the  least  possible  regard  either  to  elegance  or  comfort. 
Hogs  and  dogs  seemed,  the  morning  I  passed  through  it,  to 
have  undisputed  possession  of  the  ground,  and  the  latter  had 
many  a  comfortable  wallowing-place  in  front  of  the  houses. 

"  St.  Louis,"  says  the  reverend  doctor,  "  like  most  of  our 
young  and  rising  towns,  especially  where  there  are  oceans  of 
territory,  is  without  any  public  parks  or  promenades.  A  vacant 
square,  however,  was  pointed  out  to  me,  in  the  heart  of  the 
city,  which  may  be  had  at  a  fair  price,  though  it  will  now  cost 
much  more  that  it  was  offered  for  two  years  ago.  Surely 
nothing  should  prevent  the  corporation  from  purchasing  it. 
Let  it  be  handsomely  laid  out  in  graveled  walks,  and  planted 
with  shade-trees  and  shrubbery,  and  it  would  be  worth  more  to 
St.  Louis  than  if  it  were  all  covered  over  with  gold.  But  even 
this  would  be  inadequate  to  the  rapid  extension  and  growing 
wants  of  the  place.  It  is  a  bad  maxim,  '  Let  posterity  take 
care  of  themselves.'  Now  is  the  time  to  secure  fifty  or  a  hun- 
dred acres  for  a  grand  park,  as  a  place  of  common  resort  for 
relaxation,  health,  and  pleasure.  This  might  now  be  done 
within  two  miles  of  the  heart  of  the  city  for  a  small  sum.  In 
riding  out  with  a  friend  I  saw  three  or  four  fine  locations,  cov- 
ered with  a  thrifty  growth  of  young  trees,  offering  the  city  the 
strongest  inducements  to  be  beforehand  with  private  pur- 
chasers. It  would  not  be  necessary  to  lay  out  a  dollar  in  pre- 
paring and  ornamenting  the  grounds  for  the  present.  But  I 
repeat  it,  at  the  hazard  of  being  set  down  as  an  enthusiast  in 
matters  of  this  sort,  the  purchase  ought  forthwith  be  made,  and 
whatever  the  present  generation  of  utilitarians  may  think,  I 
pledge  the  little  credit  I  have  for  forecast  that  a  hundred  years 
hence  St.  Louis  will  be  prouder  of  her  great  park  than  of  any 
thing  else  she  will  have  to  boast  of." 

What  would  the  learned  gentleman  say  to-day  if  he 
could  visit  St.  Louis,  and  learn  that  the  city  has  well- 
nigh  on  to  an  acre  of  park  for  each  head  of  a  family  ? 
Dr.  Humphrey  adds, — 

"  As  a  proof  of  the  rapid  increase  of  business  and  population 
in  St.  Louis,  I  may  mention  that  one  of  the  largest  hotels  I  have 
ever  seen  is  now  going  up.  It  appears  to  me  to  be  quite  as 
large  as  the  Astor  House  in  New  York,  and  although  it  will 
cost  a  very  large  sum,  I  believe  everybody  regards  it  as  a  good 
investment.  Certainly  such  a  '  strangers'  home'  in  this  great 
thoroughfare  of  western  travel  will  be  highly  appreciated  by 
thousands.  But  where  is  St.  Louis,  in  the  west  or  the  east 
or  somewhere  near  the  centre  of  the  United  States  ?  I  confess 

I  do  not  know.  But  my  impression  is  that,  making  an  allow- 
ance of  one  or  two  thousand  miles,  which  cannot  be  of  much 
consequence  one  way  or  the  other,  St.  Louis  will  be  found 
somewhere  in  the  great  West. 

"  Let  St.  Louis  go  on  and  lay  all  her  foundations  broad  and 
deep.  She  has  most  unquestionably  a  high  destiny  before  her, 
and  who  can  tell  how  much  the  present  generation  may  do  in 
making  it?" 

In  1846  the  St.  Louis  Prices  Current  thus  esti- 
mated the  general  progress  of  the  community : 

"  St.  Louis  seems  to  continue  to  be  a  favorite  point  for  the 
location  of  the  merchant,  the  tradesman,  and  others  who,  hav- 
ing left  the  home  of  their  fathers,  resolve  to  settle  at  some 
point  in  the  '  Great  West,'  if  we  may  judge  from  the  great  in- 
flux of  inhabitants  which  pour  into  it  and  fix  their  residence 
here  from  year  to  year.  The  official  statistics,  in  part  reported 
to  the  City  Council  during  the  past  year,  warrant  us  in  saying 
that  the  number  of  houses,  factories,  etc.,  which  have  been 
erected  during  the  past  year  within  the  corporate  limits  is  not 
less  than  seventeen  hundred,  and  that  its  population  has  aug- 
mented full  four  thousand.  We  estimate  its  present  population 
to  exceed  forty  thousand,  and  augmenting  with  a  rapidity  un- 
exampled in  the  annals  of  any  city  either  east  or  west;  and  its 
trade  and  commerce  keep  pace  with  its  influx  of  population,  as 
will  be  shown  by  some  few  statistics  annexed. 

"  The  assumed  value  of  real  estate  the  past  year  is  more  than 
thirteen  million  dollars,  being  an  increase  over  the  value  in 
1830  of  more  than  twelve  millions  ;  and  the  current  city  revenue 
of  1845  is  estimated,  per  official  data,  at  two  hundred  and 
twenty-seven  thousand  dollars,  twenty  thousand  of  which  are 
received  from  our  steamboat  tonnage,  and  seventeen  thousand 
from  water  revenues.  These  are  some  data  on  which  the  re- 
flecting mind  may  estimate  our  progress  and  prosperity. 

"  During  the  past  year  the  mercantile  and  trading  interests 
have  had  no  cause  to  complain.  The  merchant  has  found  ready 
sale  for  his  goods,  the  tradesman  and  mechanic  have  been  fully 
employed,  and  the  laboring  classes  who  were  not  indisposed  to 
work  have  had  the  opportunity  to  lay  up  ample  stores  to  serve 
them  during  the  inclement  season  now  upon  us.  Our  city  has 
enjoyed  during  the  past  year  its  usual  health,  and  while  we 
acknowledge  our  dependence  upon  the  Author  of  all  our  bless- 
ings, we  should  not  be  unmindful  of  the  debt  of  gratitude  we 
owe  to  Him  from  whom  cometh  every  blessing." 

In  1848  it  was  said  that  "the  natural  advantages  of  St.  Louis, 
in  a  commercial  and  manufacturing  point  of  view,  are  greater 
than  those  of  any  city  in  the  West ;  and  it  is  only  necessary  for 
the  general  government  to  pursue  a  liberal  and  equitable  course 
towards  her,  and  for  her  citizens  to  strengthen  these  advantages 
by  their  enterprise  and  public  spirit,  to  make  her  (and  that,  too, 
in  a  very  short  time)  the  largest  and  most  important  inland  city 
in  the  Union.  Her  immense  resources  are  being  daily  developed 
and  turned  to  advantage;  her  population  and  business  are  in- 
crrasing  beyond  a  precedent  in  the  history  of  this  country  :  her 
wealth  and  prosperity  are  exciting  wonder  and  admiration,  and 
coiuinanding  respect  and  attention  from  every  portion  of  the 
United  States,  and  wherever  else  her  commerce  and  name  has 
j  extended.  Situated  as  she  is,  on  the  great  Mississippi,  in  the 
i  centre  of  a  fertile  and  healthy  region  of  country,  with  the 
waters  of  four  navigable  streams  sweeping  her  shores,  and 
bearing  the  mineral  and  agricultural  products  of  four  large 
and  populous  States,  which  must  necessarily  pass  through  the 
hands  of  her  merchants,  in  direct  communication  with  all  the 
important  towns  and  cities  in  the  West,  enjoying  also  manu- 
facturing facilities  of  the  highest  order,  and  hoMing  in  her 
natural  grasp  the  commercial  operations  of  several  millions 



of  people, —  these  are  resources  of  which  but  few  cities  in  the 
Union,  or  perhaps  in  the  world,  can  boast. 

"Our  city  is  rapidly  improving  in  wealth  and  importance, 
even  beyond  the  expectations  of  the  most  sanguine.  Manufac- 
tories and  machine-shops  are  daily  springing  up  in  our  midst, 
and  many  articles  hitherto  imported  for  domestic  purposes  have 
now  become  important  items  of  export.  The  value  and  quantity 
of  manufactured  articles  annually  imported  from  the  Ohio  are 
rapidly  diminishing,  and  we  look  forward  with  a  great  degree 
of  certainty  to  the  time,  and  that  at  no  very  distant  day,  when 
St.  Louis  will  not  only  prove  the  great  commercial  emporium  of 
the  Mississippi  valley,  but  also  the  machine-shop  of  the  entire 
West.  Her  facilities  for  the  manufacture  of  many  imported 
articles  are  even  now  greater  than  the  cities  from  whence  they 
come,  and  it  is  only  necessary  for  our  manufacturing  resources 
to  be  properly  developed  to  bring  capitalists  and  mechanics 
hither,  where  their  money  and  labor  can  be  employed  with  cer- 
tainty and  profit. 

"In  1840,  with  the  exception  of  several  flouring-  and  saw- 
mills of  inconsiderable  note,  we  were  entirely  destitute  of 
manufactories,  and  even  at  a  later  date  our  establishments  in 
this  respect  were  scarcely  worthy  of  attention.  Since,  however, 
cotton,  woolen,  soap,  candle,  starch,  and  various  other  manufac- 
tories have  sprung  into  existence,  and  are  now  driving  a  lucra- 
tive and  extensive  business,  to  say  nothing  of  the  foundries 
(about  eighteen  in  number),  flouring-fcills,  machine-shops,  etc., 
with  which  the  city  abounds.  Our  population  in  1830  was  esti- 
mated at  six  thousand  six  hundred  and  ninety-four,  in  1840  at 
sixteen  thousand  four  hundred  and  sixty-nine,  and  by  the  late 
State  census  at  fifty-six  thousand,  showing  that  it  has  more  than 
trebled  in  eight  years." 

In  1849,  the  year  of  cholera  and  fire  and  financial 
depression,  the  voice  of  trade  was  as  follows  : 

"  We  have  repeatedly  spoken  of  the  great  manufacturing  and 
commercial  facilities  of  St.  Louis,  and  notwithstanding  the  mis- 
fortunes and  afflictions  of  the  past  season,  all  that  has  been  said 
of  her  Wealth  and  constantly  increasing  commerce  is  being 
daily  confirmed.  Not  a  year  passes  but  we  are  called  upon  to 
note  new  discoveries  of  mineral  deposits,  the  increase  or  exten- 
sion of  manufactures,  or  marked  changes  in  her  extensive  inter- 
course with  different  portions  of  the  country;  and  by  means  of 
a  wide-spread  navigation,  distant  points,  hitherto  inaccessible, 
are  being  brought  within  the  boundaries  of  her  trade,  and  new 
commodities,  either  for  consumption  or  export,  are  constantly 
arriving  at  her  wharf.  Her  manufacturing  interests,  too,  are 
not  neglected,  and  there  is  a  steady  and  uninterrupted  increase 
of  mills,  foundries,  machine-shops,  and  various  minor  mechani- 
cal works,  for  the  consumption  of  coal,  iron,  lead,  grain,  etc., 
which  bid  fair  to  become  permanent  and  profitable  invest- 
ments. As  a  commercial  city,  St.  Louis  ranks  second  in  the 
West, — a  distinction  attained  within  the  past  ten  years, — and  if 
her  progress  is  onward,  as  is  generally  conceded,  ten  years  more 
will  scarcely  transpire  before,  in  many  of  the  most  important 
branches  of  commerce  and  manufactures,  she  will  be  classed  as 
the  first.  With  a  population  of  seventy  thousand,  she  has  con- 
tinued to  increase  in  strength  and  improve  in  size  down  to  the 
present  period,  and  in  commencing  the  last  half  of  the  present 
century  it  may  not  be  thought  visionary  to  predict  that  before 
it  expires  she  will  be  in  direct  communication  with  the  lakes, 
the  Eastern  seaboard,  and  the  Pacific,  and  thus  become  the  cen- 
tral depot  for  the  vast  commerce  of  the  two  hemispheres." 

In  1858,  upon  occasion  of  the  establishment  of  the 
overland  mail  to  California,  we  read  the  following  in 
the  current  news  notes  of  the  day  : 

"Arrival  of  the  Overland  Mail. — What  has  hitherto  been  re- 
garded as  a  visionary  and  speculative  enterprise  has  been  estab- 
lished beyond  all  doubt,  and  St.  Louis  and  San  Francisco  have 
been  brought  within  twenty-four  days'  travel  of  each  other,  on 
a  stage  line,  and  a  route  which  will  admit  of  easier  and  safer 
travel  than  did  the  trip  from  St.  Louis  to  Philadelphia  thirty 
years  ago. 

"  When    the    Atlantic    cable  was   laid    it    was    hoped    that 

daily  communication  had  thus  been  established  between  Europe 

and  America.     In  our  opinion  a  greater  enterprise  has  been 

accomplished   in   the  establishment  of  an  overland  mail  con- 

i   necting  the  Atlantic  with   the   Pacific,  passing  over  our  own 

soil,  and  affording  a  semi-weekly,  soon  to  be  converted  into  a 

I  daily,  communication  between  the  extremes  of   the  republic. 

I   Nine  years  ago,  when  the  discovery  of  gold  in  California  led 

to  the  immense  emigration  to  that  State,  it  was  regarded  as  an 

I   expeditious  trip  if  made  from  the  Mississippi  to  the  Pacific  in 

j  eighty  to  one  hundred  days.    Thousands  were  occupied  a  much 

[   longer  time,   and    hundreds  perished  by  the  wayside.       The 

;   establishment  of  this  mail  route,  and  of  the  route  from  St. 

|   Joseph  to  Utah,  and  thence  to  Sacramento,  has  changed  the 

)   whole  current  of  things;  and  it  is  now  demonstrated,  on  a  first 

trial  and  under  adverse  circumstances-,  that  it  is  practicable  to 

i   carry  the  mail  to  San  Francisco  in  twenty-four  days,  and  this 

|   will  be  reduced,  if  necessary,  below  twenty  days." 


In   1854  the  city's  condition  and  prospects  were 
described  as  follows : 

"  Here  stands  a  city,  enjoying  far  beyond  any  other  city  of 
the  same  magnitude  or  pretensions  the  advantages  of  that 
inland  navigation,  compared  with  which  even  our  vast  foreign 
commerce  is  sinking  into  insignificance.  It  has  five  thousand 
miles  of  that  navigation  belonging  peculiarly  to  its  own 
water*,  with  ten  thousand  miles  of  coast,  yielding  up  the 
|  products  of  an  immense  and  fertile  region,  for  which  it  fur- 
nishes a  thousand  outlets.  To  these  may  be  added  the  forty 
thousand  miles  more  of  navigable  rivers  which  connect  with 
St.  Louis.  Soon  the  vast  means  of  communication  furnished 
in  this  way  to  our  city  will  be  enlarged  by  the  completion  of 
twelve  hundred  miles  of  railroad  already  begun  or  projected 
within  the  borders  of  the  State,  and  connected  with  a  network 
of  similar  roads  stretching  to  every  point  of  the  Union,  in  one 
direction  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  in  another  to  the  head-waters 
of  the  Mississippi,  and  in  a  third  to  Labrador  in  the  far  east 
and  to  San  Francisco  in  the  far  west.  Through  her  gates  will 
pour  the  commerce  of  the  Pacific,  of  India,  and  of  the  isles  of 
the  ocean  on  the  one  hand,  and  the  commerce  of  the  Atlantic 
and  of  Europe  on  the  other.  Stripping  from  her  all  which 
may  be  considered  as  accidental  or  adventitious, — all  of  which 
jealous  and  more  fortunate  rivals  may  by  possibility  deprive 
her, — still  she  is  left  the  commercial  centre,  the  natural  mart  of 
seven  hundred  thousand  square  miles  of  territory,  full  of  min- 
eral and  agricultural  resources,  and  capable  of  sustaining  in 
vigorous  life  a  population  of  a  hundred  millions.  .  .  .  What 
shall  forbid  an  accumulation  here  of  inhabitants  beyond  any- 
thing of  which  we  have  authentic  records,  millions  upon 
millions,  until  there  shall  have  sprung  up  here  a  city  contain- 
ing hundreds  of  square  miles,  with  an  area  even  then  affording 
i  but  reasonable  accommodations  for  the  vast  multitudes  col- 
I  lected  within  it, — a  city  with  quays  and  warehouses  stretching 
1  interminably  in  lines  which,  still  unbroken,  fade  out  of  sight 
in  the  dim  distance  ?  Of  course,  such  visions  relate  to  the 
future ;  but  that  future,  midst  the  growth  of  such  a  nation  as 
ours,  cannot  be  long  postponed.  Meanwhile  the  present  gen- 
oration  will  witness  a  progress  with  which  it  may  well  be  con- 
1  tent.  That  progress,  it  is  true,  will  depend  much  upon  the 



enterprise  and  energies  of  our  citizens.  We  are  fully  aware  of 
this  truth,  while  we  repeat  the  expressions  of  our  confidence  in 
that  progress.  For  we  fully  rely  on  it  that  its  citizens  will  be 
true  to  their  city  and  themselves,  alike  the  thousands  who  are 
now  here  and  the  hundreds  of  thousands  still  to  come  higher. 
That  may  be  no  idle  dream  which  conceives  for  St.  Louis  the 
most  exalted  destiny,  which,  with  a  just,  prophetic  forecast, 
transforms  the  humble  hamlet  of  Laclede  into  the  future  me- 
tropolis of  the  New  World." 

In  1857  one  of  the  "  manifest  destiny"  writers  of 
St.  Louis  (the  greater  part  of  them  are  of  that  order) 
wrote  as  follows: 

"  This  city  is  beginning  to  receive  the  attention  from  abroad 
which  her  rapid  growth,  her  extraordinary  natural  advantages, 
and  her  approaching  dentiny  demand. 

"  Her  present  commercial  importance,  which  is  unsurpassed 
by  any  city  in  the  valley  of  the  Mississippi,  is  derived  from 
river  navigation  alone ;  and  her  commerce  from  this  source  is 
drawn  from  the  most  extensive  and  the  richest  agricultural  and 
mineral  region  in  the  world,  scarcely  one-tenth  of  whose  wealth 
and  latent  resources  are  yet  developed. 

"  There  is  nothing  problematical  therefore  in  this  statement, 
the  geographical  fact  speaks  for  itself.  The  commerce  of  St. 
Louis  will  be  increased  ten  times  its  magnitude  in  less  than 
twenty-five  years  from  the  one  source  which  has  made  her  now 
all  that  she  is,  from  river  navigation  alone. 

"To  this  advantage  of  river  navigation,  which  is  unequaled 
by  any  city  in  the  world,  and  which  must  ever  continue  to  be 
her  most  important  and  cherished  source  of  wealth,  is  now  being 
superadded  that  of  railroad  facilities.  The  commercial  import- 
ance given  to  St.  Louis  by  her  river  navigation  will  eventually 
insure  to  her  an  equal  supremacy  as  the  emporium  of  railroad 
intercommunication.  The  great  lines  of  railway  from  the  At- 
lantic border  are  all  pointing  to  this  city  as  a  common  centre, 
and  she  is  sending  out  and  receiving  branches  from  the  rich 
agricultural  and  mineral  regions  of  the  'Great  West.' 

"St.  Louis,  from  her  unrivaled  facilities  for  trade  and  manu- 
factures, will  occupy  in  the  Mississippi  valley  as  decided  a  pre- 
eminence in  commercial  importance  as  the  city  of  New  York 
now  commands  on  the  Atlantic  seaboard.  The  main  current  of 
trade  on  this  continent  must  forever  set  in  the  direction  of  east 
and  west.  St.  Louis  is  the  heart  of  this  great  current,  while 
commanding  a  controlling  point  on  the  grand  highway  of  com- 
merce between  the  upper  Mississippi  and  the  great  lakes  and 
the  Gulf  of  Mexico.  She  is  in  the  latitude  of  thirty-eight  and 

a  half,  the  most  beautiful  climate  of  the  temperate  zone,  a 
her  navigable  waters  are  open  to  the  commerce  of  the  world 
during  many  weeks,  and  not  unfrequently  months,  while  more 
northern  marts  are  bound  in  fetters  of  ice. 

"To  her  well-known  and  pre-eminent  advantages  as  the 
centre  of  commerce  for  the  Mississippi  valley,  which  is  forever 
assured  by  geographical  position,  St.  Louis  is  the  emporium  of 
one  of  the  best  agricultural  and  mineral  regions  in  the  world, 
which  immediately  surrounds  her.  Southern  and  Central  Illi- 
nois and  the  rich  mineral  region  of  Missouri  pour  their  undi- 
vided wealth  of  trade  upon  this  city. 

"There  are  other  cities  in  the  Mississippi  valley  which  are 
distinguished  by  a  commanding  position  for  extended  and 
lucrative  commerce,  and  by  the  indomitable  energy  and  admi- 
rable enterprise  of  their  inhabitants.  St.  Louis,  from  her  cen- 
tral position  and  extraordinary  facilities  of  approach,  is  especi- 
ally aided  and  strengthened  by  the  prosperity  of  each  one  and 
all  of  these  cities,  while  imparting  to  them  a  reciprocal  benefit 
in  the  general  increase  of  commercial  facilities." 

Yet,  in  1881,  Mr.  Nimmo,  of  the  Bureau  of  Statis- 
tics, while  fully  admitting  the  transcendent  past,  pres- 
ent, and  future  importance  of  the  river  navigation  to 
the  trade  of  St.  Louis,  could  show  that  the  railroads, 
for  the  time  being  at  least,  had  carried  off  nine-tenths 
of  this  vaunted  inalienable  possession,  the  river  trade. 
Note  his  figures:  "A  radical  change,"  he  remarks, 
"  has  taken  place  in  the  conditions  governing  the  move- 
ments of  commerce  at  St.  Louis.  Twenty-five  years 
ago  that  commerce  was  almost  exclusively  confined  to 
the  Mississippi  River  and  its  tributaries,  but  at  the 
present  time  railroads  extend  from  the  city  in  all  di- 
rections. Each  one  of  these  railroads  has  become  an 
important  avenue  of  commerce."  In  proof  of  this, 
we  find  that  of  the  total  tonnage  transferred  during 
1880  there  was  moved  by  river  1,981,385  tons; 
moved  by  rail,  8,852,204  tons. 

These  facts,  as  Mr.  Nimmo  truly  says,  indicate  that 
the  commerce  of  St.  Louis  has  largely  accommodated 
itself  to  the  facilities  afforded  by  railroad  transporta- 
tion. This  he  shows  by  the  following  table : 

TONS  OF  FREIGHT  received  at  St.  Louis  from  the  north,  and  of  freight  shipped  from  that  city  to  the  north,   by  river  and  by 

rail,  from  1871  to  1880,  inclusive. 






By  River. 

By  Rail. 

By  River. 

By  Rail. 

By  River. 

By  Rail. 




















It  appears  that  the  tonnage  to  and  from  the  north 
by  river  fell  from  315,854  tons  in  1871  to  281,355 
tons  in  1880,  and  that  the  tonnage  by  rail  increased 
from  75,668  in  1871  to  480,621  tons  in  1880.  The 

river  traffic  constituted  about  37  per  cent,  of  the  total 
northern  traffic  during  the  year  1880. 

The    following    table    illustrates    the    point    still 
further : 

TONS  OF  FREIGHT  received  at  St.  Louis  from  the  south,  and  of  freight  shipped  from  that  city  to  the  south,  by  river  and  by 

rail,  from  1871  to  1880,  inclusive. 






By  Eiver. 

By  Rail. 

By  River. 

By  Rail. 

By  River.               By  Rail. 








1,311,498    ' 











And  the  summary  completes  the  illustration  and  emphasizes  it : 







Per  Cent, 
of  Total. 


Per  Cent, 
of  Total. 


Per  Cent, 
of  Total. 

To  the  north  







To  the  east  

Total  by  rail  








To  the  north  








To  the  east  

To  the  west  

Total  by  river  








To  the  north  




'      4.48 



To  the  south  

To  the  east  

Total  shipments  







And  yet  the  river  is  ten  times  more  valuable  and 
more  important  to  the  trade  of  St.  Louis,  and  especially 
to  the  city's  position  as  a  trade  centre,  than  it  was  in 
1857.  It  is  needless  to  pursue  this  branch  of  the 
subject  any  further.  The  people  of  St.  Louis  have  a 

perfect  confidence  in  their  resources  and  in  their  abil- 
ity to  develop  them.  As  they  contend,  in  speaking 
of  their  ability  to  utilize  their  stores  of  fuel,  for  ex- 
ample :  The  output  of  coal  in  England  to-day  will  load 
a  railroad  train  sixty  miles  long.  The  coal  basins  of 



the  British  Isles,  when  compared  to  the  basins  of  this 
valley,  are  as  one  to  twenty,  or  even  fifty.  The  output 
here  daily  in  the  coining  times  will  be  simply  enormous. 
The  same  remarks  apply  to  the  iron  mountains  and 
iron  fields,  lead,  zinc,  and  copper  fields.  They  are  as 
fifty  to  one,  compared  to  the  mineral  fields  of  the  Brit- 
ish Isles.  The  agricultural  resources  of  this  basin 
hold  the  same  position.  The  railroad  system  of  the 
British  Isles  has  about  reached  its  culminating  point, 
as  have  all  the  developments  of  the  mineral  and  agri- 
cultural resources  of  the  island. 

England  has  heretofore  manufactured  all  the  hard- 
ware and  heavy  goods  for  the  nations  of  the  world. 
Now,  as  these  people  will  be  large  consumers  in  the 
future,  and  the  great  supplies  of  raw  material,  as  cot- 
ton, iron,  lead,  zinc,  copper,  and  other  elements,  are  in 
this  basin,  it  does  not  require  the  vision  of  a  prophet 
to  foresee  that  in  the  coming  times  the  iron  industries, 
tanneries,  potteries,  smelting-works,  and  a  hundred 
other  industries  will  grow  up  here  and  supply  these 
foreign  markets,  and  that  St.  Louis  will  be  the  im- 
porting, exporting,  wholesale  mart,  general  distribu- 
ting point,  and  railroad  centre  of  this  great  valley  of 
the  Mississippi,  or  basin  of  the  continent. 

And  they  meet  the  suspicion  of  indifference  and 
lack  of  energy  in  this  wise,  to  quote  from  a  St.  Louis 
newspaper  of  the  day  after  Christmas,  1878, — 

"Are  St.  Louis  men  un  progressive?  Some  of  our  contempo-  | 
raries  out  West  are  disposed  to  'poke  fun'  at  St.  Louis  because  j 
of  the  apparently  unprogressive  and  unenterprising  character  of 
those  who  are  rulers  in  her  marts  of  trade  and  banks.  Well, 
perhaps  it  is  a  truth  that  St.  Louis  is  provokingly  slow,  but  it 
would  be  well  to  remember  that  St.  Louis  is  exceedingly  sure, 
that  she  does  not  act  for  to-day  only,  but  for  all  time.  The 
truth  is  St.  Louis  is  a  very  solid  city,  that  the  actual  financial 
condition  of  her  business  men  is  a  little  too  good  for  a  very  ag- 
gressive campaign  for  traffic.  We  do  not  say  that  the  city  is 
in  danger  of  permanent  injury  from  the  too  prosperous  condi- 
tion of  her  citizens  engaged  in  the  business  of  merchandising, 
manufacturing,  banking,  building,  and  other  industries.  St. 
Louis  is  a  conservative  city,  that  we  readily  admit,  but  the  con- 
servatism of  our  citizens  does  not  lead  them  to  neglect  the  great 
interests  which  centre  here,  and  which  have  thus  far  led  to  a 
great  and  substantial  development.  It  is  true,  and  we  readily 
admit  it,  that  the  rather  ultra-conservatism  which  prevails  here 
sometimes  delays  the  consummation  of  designs  necessary  to  the 
continued  prosperity  of  the  city,  and,  to  the  extent  of  such  de- 
lays, retards  and  injures  its  commerce.  But  the  good  people 
of  St.  Louis  are  neither  blind  nor  destitute  of  ordinary  intelli- 
gence. They  know  their  interests,  and  will  be  very  certain  to 
guard  them  with  jealous  care." 

We  have  spoken  of  the  population  of  St.  Louis,  and 
the  people  and  natives  who  compose  it,  more  than 
once  in  the  course  of  these  volumes,  but  the  subject 
will  admit  of  further  discussion.  The  figures  of  the 
census  representing  the  city's  growth  have  been  given 
above,  but  a  word  or  two  of  explanation  is  needed  to> 

make  them  clear  in  their  full  exponential  value.  The 
returns  of  the  census  of  1880  were  a  source  of  disap- 
pointment approaching  dismay.  But  this  was  because 
the  census  of  1870  was  a  fraud  and  delusion.  This 
fact  is  now  conceded  upon  all  hands,  and  indeed  has 
been  conclusively  demonstrated.  There  is  no  reason 
to  doubt  or  question  the  substantial  fidelity  of  the 
census  of  1880.  As  Mr.  Charles  W.  Knapp  says,  in 
the  paper  elsewhere  quoted, — 

"  Look  where  you  may  for  disproof  of  the  census  figures,  you 
will  find  nothing  to  indicate  St.  Louis  had  much  more  than  the 
350,000  the  census  gives  it.  Inquire  of  the  postal  business  and 
you  will  find  that  the  Chicago  office  collected  9,000,000  pounds 
of  mail  matter  and  sold  $1,114,000  worth  of  stamps,  while  the 
St.  Louis  figures  were  only  4,250,000  pounds  of  mail  matter 
and  $600,000  worth  of  stamps  in  the  year  ending  with  June, 
1880.  Count  the  names  in  the  Chicago  directory  of  1880  and 
you  will  find  170,388,  while  the  St.  Louis  directory  had  only 
120,517.  The  Chicago  directory  contained  33.87  per  cent,  of 
its  whole  population,  and  the  St.  Louis  directory  would  indicate, 
according  to  that  percentage,  a  population  of  355,822  for  this 
city.  Come  nearer  to  the  present  and  you  will  find  that  a 
school  census  taken  in  Chicago  last  July  showed  a  population 
of  562,693,  while  the  directory  of  this  year  shows  192,567  names, 
or  33.78  of  the  whole  number  reported  by  th,e  school  census, 
while  the  St.  Louis  directory  contains  only  139,151  names,  in- 
dicating a  population  of  412,000  on  the  basis  of  the  Chicago 
percentage.  Doubtless  this  is  a  larger  population  than  Boston 
can  show,  but  it  is  not  enough  to  advance  St.  Louis  above  the 
fifth  place,  nor  are  there  any  other  collateral  statistics  that  can 
be  depended  on  which  indicate  that  the  Chicago  figures  are  too 
high  or  the  St.  Louis  too  low.  The  relative  number  of  pupils 
enrolled  in  the  public  schools  of  the  two  cities  may  seem  to  in- 
dicate a  small  difference  in  population,  when  it  is  found  that 
the  enrollment  reported  in  Chicago  in  June,  1880,  was  59,562,  or 
11.84  per  cent,  of  its  reported  population,  while  the  St.  Louis 
enrollment  was  51,241,  which,  on  the  basis  of  the  Chicago  per- 
centage, would  indicate  a  population  of  431,934  for  St.  Louis. 
I  warn  you  that  only  the  most  short-lived  joy  is  to  be  got  of 
such  a  calculation,  however,  for  in  June,  1882,  Chicago  had 
68,266,  or  12.21  per  cent,  of  the  population  reported  by  the 
school  census,  while  St.  Louis  had  only  53,050,  indicating  only 
437,820  population  on  the  Chicago  basis.  It  is  so  absurd  to  say 
that  St.  Louis  has  only  increased  5886  in  the  past  two  years 
that  you  must  see  there  are  reasons  why  the  school  statistics 
are  unavailable  as  an  index  to  population.  I  was  told  at  the 
office  of  the  superintendent  of  schools  that  there  is  really  no 
class  of  statistics  more  inaccurate,  because  of  the  manifest  care- 
lessness of  the  principals  in  their  preparation,  while,  aside  from 
that  fact,  the  adequacy  of  the  school  accommodation  influences 
the  school  enrollment  even  more  than  the  increase  of  population, 
which  cannot  swell  the  school  attendance  if  the  school?  are 
already  filled  to  their  full  capacity.  It  is  of  no  avail,  therefore, 
to  appeal  to  the  school  statistics  to  impeach  the  census,  and  we 
must  let  the  figures  of  1880  stand."' 

In  spite,  however,  of  the  fact  that  St.  Louis 
falls  one  hundred  and  filly-three  thousand  below 
Chicago  in  population,  and  still  more  in  manufac- 
tures and  some  branches  of  trade,  as  pork-packing 
and  grain  shipments,  St.  Louis  shows  more  wealth, 
by  nearly  ninety  millions  of  dollars,  than  the  rival 



city.  This  may  be,  and  is  in  great  part,  from  lower 
assessments,  but  that  lower  assessment  simply  means 
that  people  in  St.  Louis  own  their  property  while 
Chicago  is  owned  by  money-lenders  in  New  York,  Bos- 
ton, and  elsewhere  in  the  East,  who  have  mortgages 
upon  all  the  land  and  improvements,  railroads,  mills, 
stocks,  and  bonds  in  Chicago,  and  get  their  percentage 
out  of  every  man's  earnings  and  income.  St.  Louis, 
moreover,  is  a  larger  produce  market  than  Chicago, 
as  the  following  table  shows : 



Flour $4,780,285 

Wheat 13,669,903 

Corn 30,732,449 

Oats 5,780,597 

Rye 837,779 

Barley 4,244,893 



Hay 1,000,000 

Potatoes 1,900,000 

St.  Louis. 











Total $62,945,886         $66,381,073 

It  is  the  largest  wheat  market  in  the  country,  and 
the  largest  flour  market  in  the  world.  It  is,  more- 
over, as  already  shown,  the  largest  interior  cotton 
market  in  the  country.  These  are  consolations  for 
the  less  accelerated  growth  of  population  ;  but,  the 
fraud  of  1870  eliminated,  Mr.  Knapp  believes  St. 
Louis  to  have  grown  more  rapidly  during  the  past 
decade  than  ever  before.  Thus,  while  St.  Louis  in 
1800  had  957  people,  in  1820  only  4598,  in  1830 
5852,  the  range  with  Chicago  from  that  time  forward 
was  as  follows : 

1840.  1850.         1860.  1870.  1880. 

St.  Louis 16,469       77,860     160,773     213,301     350,522 

Chicago 4,479       29,963     109,260     298,977     503,053 

(The  population  in  1S70  is  reduced  100,000  below  census 

On  this  basis  the  relative  percentages  of  growth  were  as  fol- 

Chicago.      St.  Louis.     Difference, 

18411  to  1850 569.00         373.00         196.00 

1850  to  I860 261.00         106.00         155.00 

1860  to  1870 173.0U  32.67         140.33 

1870  to  1880 68.61  66.82  1.79 

1880  to  1882 11.85  18.81  6.96 

In  other  words,  it  took  the  population  of  St.  Louis 
ten  years  to  recover  from  the  effects  of  the  civil  war, 
during  all  which  period  Chicago  was  expanding  and 
developing  with  acceleration.  Nevertheless,  St.  Louis 
has  entirely  recovered  from  that  period  of  bouleverse- 
ment  as  respects  population,  and  in  another  decade 
will  have  completely  recovered  as  respects  industrial 
growth  and  development  of  transportation  facilities. 

Mr.  Knapp,  however,  who  is  as  frank  and  candid 
in  his  statements  as  he  is  keen  and  searching  in  his 
analyses,  warns  his  fellow-citizens  that  there  are  still 
some  hindrances  to  progress,  which  must  be  removed 

if  they  desire  to  see  the  city  of  their  hopes  grow 
and  expand  vigorously  and  equably.  Prices  are  too 
high,  he  says. 

"  It  is  the  same  unvarying  story,  from  the  bootblacks  and 
newsboys  up  to  the  merchant  princes  nnd  millionaire  bankers. 
We  are  overloaded  with  high  taxes,  high  money,  high  freights, 
and  high  labor.  Rents  are  higher,  food  is  higher,  clothing  is 
higher,  and  even  fuel  is  higher  than  in  either  Chicago  or  Cin- 
cinnati, and  so  handicapped  we  cannot  make  a  fair  race.  I 
know  your  eyes  are  tired  of  figures,  but  pardon  me  just  onoe 
more,  for  I  think  in  the  following  table  there  is  the  suggestion 
of  one  of  the  first  of  the  dead  weights  we  must  strive  to  remove. 

"Tax  rate  on  $100  of  assessed  valuation,  all  taxes  aggregated. 

New  York $2.47* 

Philadelphia 1.90 

St.  Louis...  ..  2.58" 

Boston $1.51 

Brooklyn 2.57$ 

Chicago 6.48 

Cincinnati 2.22 

Interest  rates  are  too  high  also,  he  says,  higher 
than  in  any  other  city  of  the  first  class ;  and  where 
interest  is  high,  either  the  security  is  not  good  or 
money  is  not  plenty. 

"  High  freights  we  must  also  make  war  against,  and  the  rail- 
ways be  forced  to  remove  the  onerous  and  unjust  bridge  arbi- 
trary charge,  which,  ranging  from  two  to  five  cents  per  one 
hundred  pounds,  adds  fifty-five  to  one  hundred  and  twenty- 
nine  miles  to  the  actual  mileage  distance  of  St.  Louis  from 
eastern  points.  It  may  be  we  shall  get  relief  from  this  only 
when  a  new  bridge  is  built,  but  that  may  come  at  no  distant 
day,  for  the  Indiana,  Bloomington  and  Western  Railway,  which 
is  now  locating  an  extension  line  to  St.  Louis,  has  under  con- 
templation the  construction  of  a  bridge  at  Chain  of  Rocks,  with 
a  view  to  making  its  terminus  on  this  side  of  the  river,  and 
billing  freight  to  and  from  St.  Louis,  instead  of  East  St.  Louis, 
as  all  the  other  roads  do.  There  is  equally  as  .much  need  for 
competition  on  the  river  ,•  the  barge  rates  especially  having  been 
maintained  during  the  pnst  summer  at  a  mark  which  made  the 
river  route  steadily  more  expensive  than  the  lake  and  canal 
route  from  Chicago. 

"I  must  stop  here,"  says  Mr.  Knapp,  in  conclusion,  "for, 
though  I  have  named  but  a  few  of  the  forces  operating  to 
retard  and  limit  the  city's  growth,  these  are  fair  examples. 
Such  hindering  obstructions  as  we  may  not  hope  to  remove 
are,  after  all,  of  the  kind  that  all  other  cities  find  in  their  way ; 
and  we  must  remember  that  the  struggle  for  commercial  su- 
premacy is  always  a  hot  contest,  in  which  victory  belongs 
where  energy  and  enterprise  are  most  vigorously  developed, 
so  we  need  not  despond  because  we  cannot  find  an  exclusive  and 
easy  path  to  metropolitan  greatness  devoted  to  our  sole  use.  All 
progress  is  a  battle  with  adverse  influences,  and  we  have  the 
encouragement  of  past  successes  to  persevere,  bearing  con- 
stantly in  mind  that  the  struggle  will  cease  only  when  progress 
ends.  Let,  therefore,  no  faint-hearted  yearnings  for  peace  and 
quiet  tempt  us  from  the  strife,  but  let  us  build  up  a  sensible 
self-respect,  encourage  reasonable  and  intelligent  confidence  in 
our  future,  and  stimulate  a  bold  and  aggressive  policy,  forcing 
competition  at  every  point,  with  a  fearless  determination  to 
grasp  all  that  is  possible.  Remember  that  we  have  one  great 
advantage  in  that  there  is  no  rival  market  as  near  to  St.  Louis 
as  there  is  to  every  other  leading  city, — Milwaukee  sitting  almost 
in  the  doorway  of  Chicago,  and  Louisville  in  the  back  yard  of 
Cincinnati,  while  New  York,  Philadelphia,  Brooklyn,  and  Bal- 
timore crowd  under  each  other's  noses.  Chance  having  thus 
kindly  seconded  the  favors  of  nature  in  our  geographical  situa- 
tion, we  have  a  better  opportunity  to  combat  the  opposing 



forces  than  most  other  cities,  and  it  is  only  for  us  to  make  the 
most  of  it,  to  keep  a  sleepless  watch  ahead,  and  attack  with 
united  earnestness  every  impediment  rising  in  the  city's  path." 

The  Growth  and  Population  of  St.  Louis. — 
This  history  of  St.  Louis  has  been  written  in  vain  if 
the  readers  do  not  rise  from  its  perusal  firm  in  the 
conviction  that  the  population  of  the  city  is  stronger 
in  character,  energy,  and  social  and  civic  virtues  of 
every  sort  than  it  is  in  numbers.  This  point  has  been 
clearly  and  beautifully  illustrated  by  Col.  George  E.  1 
Leighton,  in  his  recent  annual  address  as  president  of 
the  Missouri  Historical  Society, — the  address  being 
a  plea  for  more  earnest  support  for  the  society  and 
greater  attention  to  and  veneration  for  the  memories 
and  records  of  the  men  who  founded  St.  Louis.  A 
philosophical  history  of  the  place,  he  said,  was  needed : 

"It  is  a  work  yet  to  do,  to  analyze  the  operating  causes  of 
our  development.     How  the  French  trading  post  became  the 
village ;  why  the  settlement  of  Laclede  at  St.  Louis  was  more 
prosperous  than  that  of  Blanchette  Chasseur  at  St.  Charles,  of  , 
Beaurosier  Dunegant  at  Florissant,  or  that  of  Delor  de  Tregette 
at  Carondelet,  or  that  of  George  Morgan  at  New  Madrid;  how 
the  village  was  socially  and  politically  affected  by  the  succes- 
sive dominion  of  France,  Spain,  and  the  United  States,  or  by 
the  personal  influence  of  the  successive  Governors  of  Upper 
Louisiana;  how  the  first  couriers  from  the  Eastern  States,  like  ' 
Easton  and  Bent  and  Clark,  weak  in  numbers  but  strong  in  in- 
dividuality, sowed  the  seeds  of  American  manners  and  methods, 
and  awakened  the  spirit  of  commercial  life:  how  the  succeed-   ; 
ing  emigration  from  the  States,  of  which  Benton,  Hempstead,   , 
Barton,  Riddick,  Bates,  and  Charless  were  the  representatives, 
impressed  its  social  and  political  character ;  haw  the  later  eini- 
gration  from  New  England,  with  its  exalted  appreciation  of  the 
value  of  educational  and  associated  benevolent  work,  affected 
its  development;  how  the  German   emigration,  following  the 
revolutionary  movement  of  1848,  full  of  grand  ideas  of  politi- 
cal and  religious  freedom,  impressed  its  influence  upon  it;  how 
this  city  aflFected  and  was  affected  by  the  civil  war;  the  history 
of  the  development  of  our  public  works ;  the  effect  of  the  in-   ; 
stitution  of  slavery  on  the  growth  and  development  of  the  city,   ! 
and  many  others  which  might  be  stated,  are  questions  for  ex-  ! 
haustive  study,  not  to  be  solved  by  the  mere  compilation  of 
commercial  and  manufacturing  statistics  or  the  mere  narrative 
of  concrete  events. 

"  The  colonists  were  represented  by  such  names  as  the  Chou-  ; 
teaus,  Gratiots,   Soulards,  Valle"s,  Sarpy,  Chenies;    later,  the 
Morrisons,  who  came  from  the  French  settlements;  still  later  . 
Irish  enterprise  was  represented  by  the  Mullanphys,  Runkens, 
Dillon,  the  Campbells,  the  Walshes,  Whittaker;  Scotch  thrift 
by  McKenzie  and  Nicholson;  German  intelligence  and  mercan-   • 
tile  sagacity  by  Palm,  Kayser,  Barth,  Kirn,  Steitz,  Angelrodt, 
Anheuser,  Lemp ;    the   Southern    States   by   Benton,    Gamble,   i 
Geyer,  Polk,  Charless,  the  Blows,  Kennetts,  and  Blairs,  Harri-   i 
son,  Lucas.  Beverly,  Allen,  Hunt,  McPherson,  the  Carrs,  Von   i 
Phuls,   Chambers,   Paschal,   Farrar;    the   Northern    States  by 
Bent,    Easton,    Carr    Lane,    Filley,  Smith,  Cavender,  Rhodes, 
Blood,  Field,  Spaulding,  Collier,  Bridge,  Dickson,  Gale,  Davis, 
the  Lindells,  Ames,  Thomas  Allen. 

"  Other  names  will  readily  occur  to  you,  and  if  it  were  proper   , 
to  allude  to  living  men,  the  list  could  be  indefinitely  extended. 
Some  men  count  for  nothing  in  human  progress;    some  men 
count  for  one,  some  for  ten,  some  for  one  hundred.     There  will  . 

be  no  dissent  when  I  say  that  each  of  those  I  have  named,  and 
many  others  that  could  be  named,  counted  for  more  than  one 
in  the  forces  which  mark  the  progress  and  development  of  our 
commercial,  industrial,  and  intellectual  interests.  Is  it  to  be 
said  of  us  that  we  will  allow  the  record  made  by  these  men  to 
pass  into  oblivion  as  those  who  knew  them  pass  away?  An 
hundred  men  fill  their  places  to-day, — themselves  to  pass,  by 
the  same  neglect,  into  the  same  oblivion.  Is  it  of  no  impor- 
tance to  us  that  some  permanent  record  should  be  made  of  their 
place  in  our  local  history  ?  It  is  no  record  of  such  men  that 
they  lived  and  died.  Municipal  history,  or  State  history,  or 
national  history  is  in  its  last  analysis  but  the  record  of  the  men 
who  have  conceived  and  executed  projects  that  lift  the  city,  or 
State,  or  nation  over  the  years  and  push  it  forward  in  the 
march  of  civilization." 

All  this  is  profoundly  true,  and  it  is  the  sort  of 
truth  which  we  should  welcome,  for  it  bears  fruit 
when  we  act  upon  it  as  a  guiding  principle.  Men  are 
the  authors  of  institutions,  and  these  again  reflect 
men.  Growth,  decay,  birth,  death,  prosperity,  and 
decline  of  cities,  all  are  summed  up  in  the  character 
and  qualities  of  the  men  who  inhabit  countries  and 
the  institutions  they  construct.  St.  Louis,  Chicago, 
New  York,  San  Francisco,  all  were  inhabited  by  other 
races  before  the  white  man  came  to  occupy  them. 
But  scarcely  a  trace  remains  of  that  former  inhabit- 
ancy. Nature  and  natural  forces  were  the  same,  cli- 
mate and  advantages  of  site  were  the  same,  man  only 
was  different.  We  must  not  forget  this  when  we 
hasten  to  ascribe  all  things  to  nature,  and  are  willing 
to  leave  all  things  with  nature. 

The  population  of  St.  Louis,  as  has  been  shown 
elsewhere,  has  always  been  curiously  mixed.  In 
1800,  French  was  the  predominant,  Spanish  the  offi- 
cial language,  and  French  was  still  the  common 
speech  in  1818.  In  1883,  German  is  taught  in  all 
the  schools  alongside  English,  and  in  some  quarters 
of  the  city  it  is  the  most  familiar  tongue  and  the  one 
heard  most  often. 

The  following  are  the  first  American  censuses  of 
St.  Louis: 

1810.  Third  United  States  Census,  Missouri  Territory. — Dis- 
trict of  St.  Charles,  3505;  St.  Louis,  5667;  Ste.  Genevieve, 
4620;  Cape  Girardeau,  3888;  New  Madrid,  2103;  Hope  and 
St.  Francis,  188;  Arkansas,  874;  total  in  Territory,  20,845. 

1815.  December  9th,  by  John  W.  Thompson,  Sheriff. — Town 
of  St.  Louis,  2000 ;  whole  county,  7395 ;  gain  in  two  years, 

1820.  August  1st,  United  States  Census.— Town,  about  4000; 
whole  county,  9732. 

White  male  population  in  Missouri  as  reported  to 
the  Governor  under  the  acts  of  Assembly  of  Jan.  18, 
1814,  and  Feb.  1,  1817;  also  showing  number  of 
votes  taken  for  members  of  the  State  Convention  from 
the  counties  from  which  returns  were  received  in 
May,  1820: 




Number  of  Free  White 
Mules  in  1814. 












•-   PH 



Number  of  Votes  for 
Members  of  Conven- 
tion in  May,  18^0. 

Boone  7,890 

Ste.  Genevieve  1,705 
Washington  6236 

Wayne  3,009 

Cole  .2  478 

Cape  Girardeau  6,507 

Gallaway.            .                4  517 

Jackson  2,029 

Ray  1  843 

Pike  4,763 
St.  Louis  11,980 

Soott  1,610 

Lincoln  2,826 
Rails  2,450 

Gasconade  2,199 
Lafayette  2  203 

New  Madrid  1,893 

Clay  4376 

Perry  2,743 

Chariton  3,263 

New  Madrid  



No  return. 
No  return. 
No  return. 
No  return. 




In  the  city  of  St.  Louis,  — 


Cape  Girardeau  

Ste.  Genevieve  

1  589 

Slaves,  free  persons  of  colo 
In  St.  Louis  township,  out  of  t 

r,  etc  1,232 

5  000 

St.  Charles  



ic  city,  — 




Slaves,  free  persons  of  colo 
In  Bonhomme  township,  — 

r  etc             359 


-    •     •      2,207 






Slaves,  persons  of  color,  et( 
In  St.  Ferdinand  township,  — 

,                352 

.      2,231 






Of  the  character  of  the   immigration   about  this 
period,  the  Missouri  Gazette  remarks  under  date  of 
Oct.  26,  1816,— 

Slaves,  persons  of  color,  et 

3  496 

o  439 


i                               /»  ii    a.    j 

"  Missouri  and  Illinois  exhibit  an  interesting  spectacle  at  this 
time.  A  stranger  to  witness  the  scene  would  imagine  that  Vir- 
ginia, Kentucky,  Tennessee,  and  the  Carolinas  had  made  an 
agreement  to  introduce  us  as  soon  as  possible  to  the  bosom  of 
the  American  family.  Every  ferry  on  the  river  is  daily  occu- 
pied in  passing  families,  carriages,  wagons,  negroes,  carts,  etc. 
Respectable  people,  apparently  able  to  purchase  large  tracts  of 
land,  come  on.  We  have  millions  of  acres  to  occupy,  provisions 
are  cheap  and  in  abundance." 

In  1819  the  Irish  were  strong  enough  in  St.  Louis 
to  meet  in  October  of  that  year,  organize  a  Hibernian 
or  Erin  Benevolent  Society,  and  make  arrangements 
for  celebrating  the  next  St.  Patrick's  day.  The  or- 
ganization of  that  society  was  as  follows :  Jeremiah 
Connor,  president ;  Thomas  Hanly,  vice-president ; 
Hugh  Rankin,  treasurer;  Lawrence  Ryan,  secretary; 
Robert  H.  Catherwood,  Thomas  English,  Hugh 
O'Neal,  Joseph  Charless,  Sr.,  and  Thomas  Porsythe, 
standing  committee. 

In  1828  there  was  another  State  census,  with  the 
results  stated  below,  as  given  in  a  contemporary  ac- 
count : 

"  According  to  the  returns  made  to  the  secretary's  office  by  the 
sheriffs  of  the  different  counties,  the  whole  number  of  inhabi- 
tants in  the  State  on  the  1st  of  November  amounted  to  one 
hundred  and  twelve  thousand  four  hundred  and  nine.  Under 
the  next  general  census,  even  should  the  ratio  of  representation 
be  increased  to  sixty  thousand,  the  State  will  then  be  entitled 
to  two  representatives  in  Congress.  AVe  give  below  the  aggre- 
gate number  in  each  county  of  the  State : 

Jefferson 2,367  Franklin 2,852 

Madison 2,276  Marion 2,409 

Saline 1,659  St.  Francois 2,030 

St.  Charles 3,514  Howard 9,730 

rate  of  growth  exhibited  by  the  above  figures,  said, — 

"After  the  cession  of  Louisiana  to  the  United  States,  that 
part  of  the  ceded  territory  north  of  the  Missouri  River  was 
designated  and  known  as  the  St.  Charles  district.  This  appella- 
tion it  retained  for  several  years,  the  body  of  country  now  the 
most  flourishing  part  of  the  State  forming  but  one  county. 
Among  the  papers  of  the  sheriff  of  1805  is  found  a  census  of 
the  inhabitants  of  the  county,  taken  in  that  year,  from  which  it 
appears  that  the  total  number  then  in  that  district  was  fifteen 
hundred  and  sixty-four  whites,  fourteen  slaves,  and  seven  free 
blacks.  We  have  had  the  curiosity  to  contrast  this  census  with 
that  taken  in  1828,  and  find  that  the  same  district  of  country 
now  embraces  seventeen  counties,  and  is  inhabited  by  a  popula- 
tion of  near  seventy  thousand  persons." 

In  1836  the  sheriff  took  a  county  census,  and  the 
population  returned  was, — 

St.    Louis    City  and  ]  Maramec  township 692 

suburbs 10,486   j  Carondelet  township 1,854 

Bonhomme  township....  2,271  St.  Louis  township 1,127 

St.  Ferdinand  township  3,139   ! 

The  preliminary  report  upon  the  census  of  1840 
was  the  following : 

"  GRAVOIS,  ST.  LODIS  Co.,  Oct.  30,  1840. 
"A.  B.  CHAMBERS,  ESQ.: 

"  Dear  Sir, — Agreeable  to  request,  I  herewith  furnish  you 
with  a  copy  of  schedule  of  mines,  agriculture,  commerce,  manu- 
factures, etc.,  exhibiting  a  full  view  of  the  pursuits,  industry, 
and  resources  of  the  county  of  St.  Louis,  excluding  the  city 
and  township  of  St.  Louis,  taken  by  me  for  the  United  States, 
as  deputy,  under  the  marshal  of  the  Missouri  district.  I  found 
but  little  difficulty  in  exacting  answers  to  the  many  inquiries 
enjoined  upon  me  by  law  to  propound  during  the  course  of 
my  avocations.  You  may,  therefore,  depend  upon  this  state- 
ment being  as  near  correct  as  was  in  my  power  to  arrive  at. 



"  The  population  of  the  county,  excluding  the  city  of  St.  Louis 
and  township,  is  11,380. 

Value  of  the  products  of  the  dairy $12,283 

"  "  "         "       orchard 18,465 

•'          home-made  or  family  goods 13,495 

produce  of  market  gardeners 20,331 

"  "       "   nurseries  and  florists 2,025 


Number  of  horses  and  mules 3,740 

"  "  neat  cattle 13,193 

"  "sheep 8,478 

"  "swine 22,649 

Estimated  value  of  other  property  of  all  kinds $11,233 


Number  of  bushel."  of  wheat 58,677 

'  barley 1,865 

'  oats 91,956 

rye 5,638 

'  buckwheat 1,908 

'  Indian  corn 451,144 


Pounds  of  wool 8,651 

"         "hops 435 

"         "wax 1,758 

Bushels  of  potatoes 81,310 

Tons  of  hay 4,147 

"     '•   hemp  and  flax 9,905 

Pounds  of  tobacco  gathered. 197,045 

The  number  of  bushels  of  bituminous  coal  raised 

is  233,000,  capital  invested $11,600 

There  are  four  tanneries,  capital  invested 2,500 

Thirteen  grist-  and  seven  saw-mills,  capital 12,050 

Three  distilleries. 

"  Respectfully, 

"  Your  obedient  servant, 

"  JOHN  C.  DENT." 

These  figures  caused  some  dissatisfaction,  and  led 
to  the  following  in  a  contemporary  journal : 

"There  are  many  causes  that  retard  the  growth  and  pros- 
perity of  towns  and  cities  which  might  be  removed  by  the  ju- 
dicious management  of  its  citizens.  One  great  barrier  to  the 
rapid  growth  of  St.  Louis  and  many  other  towns  is  the  fact 
that  many  fine  squares  and  lots  of  ground  lie  unimproved  and 
unproductive.  By  reason  of  this  much  of  the  real  capital  of 
our  citizens  lies  dead,  and  contributes  nothing  to  the  general 
prosperity  of  the  community.  Within  the  corporate  limits  of 
St.  Louis  there  are  unimproved  lots  and  squares  worth  several 
millions  of  dollars,  and  which  would  sell  for  that  money. 
This  is  so  much  dead  capital,  so  far  as  the  business  of  the  com- 
munity is  concerned." 

In  1845  another  census  was  taken  by  the  assessors 
of  the  wards.  From  this  census  it  appears  that  the 
total  number  of  inhabitants  fell  a  fraction  short  of 
thirty-six  thousand,  divided  among  the  several  wards 
as  follows : 

First  Ward 6,900  i  Fifth  Ward 6,260 

Second  Ward 6,566     Sixth  AVard 6,200 

Third  Ward 4,683 

Fourth  Ward 5,321  ;  35,930 

It  was  about  this  time  that  James  Gordon  Bennett, 
in  the  flippant  vein  which  he  so  much  affected,  and 
which  he  seems  to  have  mistaken  for  wit,  wrote  the 
following  sketch  of  his  visit  to  St.  Louis : 

"ST.  Louis,  Nov.  20,  1846. 

"  St.  Louis,  regarded  as  a  business  place,  may  present  in- 
ducements almost  unparalleled  to  business  men.  Its  advantages 
and  its  situation  render  it  so.  Planted  on  a  rocky  foundation, 
the  Mississippi  passes  by  it  quietly,  while  above  and  below  this 
strange  stream  cuts  a  channel  where  it  pleases.  It  is  a  city 
destined  to  command  an  influential  place  in  the  mercantile  and 
manufacturing  interest,  while  its  growing  morality  will  give  it 
a  high  rank  in  the  religious  world.  But  of  what  a  mixture  is 
its  population  composed  !  And  to  what  growth  do  mushrooms 
attain  !  I  have  spent  much  time  in  Gotham,  in  Philadelphia, 
and  in  Washington,  where  this  vegetable  is  to  be  found  of  a 
pretty  good  quality,  but  I  must  confess,  with  all  my  Eastern 
predilections,  that  I  am  forced  to  give  this  Western  city  the 
credit  of  producing  it  in  perfection.  There  are  forty  thousand 
people  living  here,  and  about  four-fifths  of  them  are  descend- 
ants of  the  best  families,  and  can  trace  their  ancestry  back  to 
— Adam ! 

"Korponay  is  here,  endeavoring  to  impress  the  public  mind 
with  the  importance  of  the  polka,  bolero,  mazourka,  and  other 
fancy  dances.  And  he  takes  wonderfully,  for  I  am  told  he 
had  a  juvenile  pupil  the  other  vening,  learning  the  first  prin- 
ciples of  the  former,  and  she  was  only  turned  five-and-iorty. 
Her  agility  was  regarded  as  something  extraordinary,  even 

"  The  taste  for  literature  is  increasing  vastly.  The  first  of  a 
series  of  lectures  before  the  Mercantile  Library  Association  was 
to  be  delivered  a  few  evenings  since.  Present,  twenty-five  per- 
sons. It  was  postponed.  Two  squares  below  some  sable  min- 
strels were  giving  a  concert  to  an  audience  of  several  hundreds 
of  the  elite.  Serenades  are  popular,  and  in  Fourth  Street  so- 
journers  are  greeted  nightly  with  heavenly  strains  from  violins 
and  flutes. 

"  On  the  score  of  economy  the  fathers  of  the  city  cannot  be 
excelled.  Such  a  thing  as  lighting  the  streets  at  night,  except 
by  the  moon,  is  considered  a  work  of  supererogation.  And 
then  it  helps  trade,  for  each  citizen  is  provided  with  a  lantern 
to  thread  the  streets  when  the  '  moon's  in  her  shroud.'  There 
was  a  man  killed  a  night  or  two  ago  by  falling  into  a  quarry  in 
the  upper  end  of  the  city.  That's  nothing,  however:  he  was  a 
stranger,  and  might  have  made  inquiry.  The  city  authorities 
are  old  residents, — what  need  have  they  for  light?  Street 
crossings  are  too  much  of  a  novelty,  and  none  but  old  persons 
and  crippled  ones  get  more  than  ankle-deep  in  mud  when  that 
commodity  abounds,  as  it  does  always  after  a  little  rain. 

"  The  summer  season,  as  elsewhere,  is  the  best  time,  fh  the 
surrounding  country,  to  see  and  appreciate  the  beauties  of 
nature.  Naturalists  have  a  great  field  for  research.  Mos- 
quitoes, ranging  in  size  from  a  pin's  head  to  a  large  pea,  can 
be  taken  in  coveys  without  difficulty.  Their  music  at  night  is 
a  most  excellent  imitation  of  the  sounds  produced  by  pumping 
an  accordeon  without  touching  the  keys,  and  if  one  is  unpro- 
vided with  a  bar — an  article  of  bed-furniture  indigenous  to 
the  West — there  is  little  work  left  for  '  cuppers,  leechers,  and 
bleeders'  in  the  morning.  Another  of  the  'beauties'  is  that 
pendulum  of  nature,  vibrating  between  heat  and  cold,  the 
ague.  But,  as  in  other  cases,  its  familiarity  has  bred  con- 
tempt, and  it  is  considered  beneath  the  notice  of  the  people. 
In  my  travels,  a  short  time  ago,  I  stopped  to  refresh  at  a  public- 
house.  The  landlord  was  sitting  over  the  fire  with  a  blanket 
over  his  shoulders.  '  How  are  you?'  '  Very  well,  sir.'  '  Is  it 
sickly  about  here  ?'  'Oh,  no,  nothing  of  the  kind.'  'What  ails 
you  ?'  '  I  have  a  touch  of  the  ague.'  '  How  long  have  you 
had  it?'  'Thirteen  months.'  'Can  I  get  something  to  eat?' 
'Not  now,  stranger;  this  is  shake  day,  and  the  whole  family  is 
taking  turns.'  I  mounted  my  horse  and  departed." 



The  corporation  census  of  1847  was  a  very  grati- 
fying one, — 

First  Ward 9,970 

Second  Ward 7,645 

Third  Ward 5,744 

Fourth  Ward 6,354 

Fifth  Ward 6,667 

Sixth  Ward 11,453 


Increase  from  1845 11,903 

This  was  a  visible  growth.  It  could  be  felt  as  well 
as  seen,  and  a  journal  of  the  day  said, — 

"In  a  city  like  St.  Louis,  where  the  community  is  composed 
of  the  most  heterogeneous  materials,  gathered  literally  from 
the  four  quarters  of  the  globe,  it  takes  some  little  time  for  people 
to  find  out  '  who's  who'  and  '  what's  what.'  The  man  born  in 
St.  Louis,  perhaps  when  it  was  a  small  town  of  a  few  hundred 
inhabitants,  now  finds  himself  in  the  midst  of  a  great  city, 
surrounded  by  thousands  of  strangers,  and  knows  not  whence 
they  came,  what  their  character  may  be,  or  whither  they  are 
going.  And  the  people  from  other  countries,  other  States,  and 
other  cities,  who  now  mostly  compose  this  vast  community,  are 
alike  strangers  to  each  other.  It  follows,  therefore,  as  a  neces- 
sary consequence,  that  society  here  is  somewhat  mixed,  that  it 
is  in  a  sort  of  chrysalis  state,  that  an  elevated  standard  of 
morals  and  customs  is  yet  to  be  formed." 

This  shows  that  the  great  immediate  increase  of 
population  was  apparent  to  the  people  themselves,  and 
that  the  ancient  ease  and  familiar  acquaintanceship 
were  disturbed  by  the  great  and  sudden  influx  of 
strangers  and  aliens.  The  Republican  of  Nov.  30, 
1848,  says  of  the  enumeration  of  the  people  made 
that  year  that, — 

"according  to  the  census  recently  taken  by  the  sheriff  of  the 
county,  the  total  number  of  free  white  males  it  contains  is  37,045 ; 
free  white  females,  31,222;  number  of  free;  white  persons  who 
have  been  taught  to  read  and  write,  42,469;  deaf  and  dumb 
persons,  23;  blind,  18;  free  persons  of  color, — males,  382;  fe- 
males, 486 ;  slaves, — males,  1981 ;  females,  2346 ;  and  the  grand 
total  is  73,364. 

"  The  city  of  St.  Louis  contains  a  population  of  55,952,  of 
whom  28,779  are  free  white  males,  and  24,490  free  white 
females;  there  are  10,435  male  children  under  eighteen  years 
of  age,  and  10,434  females  under  the  same  age;  of  free  negroes 
there  are  367  males  and  472  females,  and  of  slaves,  698  males 
and  1146  females. 

"  Carondelet  contains  a  population  of  523,  Bridgeton  405,  and 
Florissant  423  souls. 

"  The  State  census  was  taken  in  1844  by  the  sheriff,  and  the 
county  then  contained  a  population  of  47,668  souls.  Of  this 
number  the  city  of  St.  Louis  had  34,140,  leaving  for  the  re- 
mainder of  the  county  13,^28  souls,  the  balance  of  the  increase 
in  the  four  years  being  all  in  the  city  of  St.  Louis.  The  total 
increase  in  the  four  years  is  25,696,  of  which  21,812  is  the  in- 
crease in  the  city  of  St.  Louis. 

"We  observe,  on  a  comparison  of  the  census  of  1844  with 
that  of  1848,  that  the  number  of  free  negroes  has  increased, 
while  that  of  the  slaves  has  diminished.  In  1844  there  were 
673  free  negroes,  while  the  census  now  completed  makes  the 
number  868.  In  1844  the  number  of  slaves  was  4512,  now 
there  are  4327,  a  decrease  in  the  slave  population  of  nearly 

"  There  is  a  slight  increase  of  population  in  the  several 
incorporated  towns  outside  of  St.  Louis.  In  1844  Carondelet 
contained  468  souls;  now  it  has  529." 

In  this  year  of  1848  the  great  German  immigra- 
tion began  to  flow  into  St.  Louis.  The  revolution 
begun  in  Paris  with  the  dethronement  of  Louis 
Philippe,  and  continued  in  Italy  by  Garibaldi,  in  Ger- 
many by  all  the  forces  of  society  except  the  nobles, 
the  army,  and  the  bureaucracy,  and  broken  in  Hun- 
gary by  the  active  interposition  of  Russian  armies, 
had  failed  also  in  Germany,  but  not  until  it  had 
shaken  the  thrones  of  the  Hapsburgs  and  the  Hohen- 
zollerns.  The  revolutionists  were  forced  to  fly  and 
expatriate  themselves ;  Illinois  was  enriched  with 
men  like  Gustav  Koerner,  and  St.  Louis  reinforced 
by  a  Schurz  and  a  Sigel. 

The  German  immigration  to  the  State  began  sooner 
than  that  to  the  city.  Flint  mentions  a  German  col- 
ony to  which  he  preached  in  the  interior  of  Missouri 
between  1812  and  1820.  Indeed,  there  was  a  very 
large  plantation  of  Germans  on  the  Red  River,  in 
Arkansas,  in  the  first  half  of  the  eighteenth  century, 
under  the  auspices  of  the  Regent  Duke  of  Orleans, 
and  the  descendants  of  some  of  these  must  have  pene- 
trated into  Upper  Louisiana.  The  first  vineyards  at 
Hermann,  in  Gasconade  County,  according  to  Michael 
Poeschal,  were  begun  in  1841.  In  1845,  fifty  thou- 
sand vines  were  planted ;  in  1849  there  were  over 
seven  hundred  thousand. 

In  St.  Louis  there  were  many  intelligent  and  en- 
terprising Germans  prior  to  the  great  influx  which 
began  in  1848.  The  greater  part  of  these  were  in 
trade,  though  many  prosecuted  intellectual  pursuits 
with  characteristic  vigor  and  success.  Charles  Mu- 
egge's  oil-cloth  factory  was  started  in  1841 ;  Thomas 
J.  Meier's  cotton -factory — a  pioneer  enterprise  of 
great  value  and  importance — in  1839.  But  1848  is 
the  year  in  which  the  tide  set  in.  The  soil  and  cli- 
mate of  Missouri  suited  the  Germans,  always  inhabi- 
tants of  the  interior  ;  they  found  themselves  heartily 
welcome,  protected  and  befriended,  and  abundant 
labor  waiting  for  them.  They  did  not  fear  the  com- 
petition of  slavery,  and  the  "peculiar  institution" 
never  interfered  with  them,  reduced  the  value  of  their 
work,  or  traversed  their  opinions.  The  arrivals  of 
Germans  at  the  port  of  St.  Louis  were : 

March  18,  1848,  to  same  day  1849 9,000 

"        "   1849,     "         "        1850 14,403 

"         "  1850,     "         "         1851 10,815 

Total  in  three  years 34,218 

Of  these  about  two-thirds  found  employment  in  St. 
Louis.  In  1851  this  city  was  counted  as  the  prin- 
cipal port  for  the  debarkation  of  Germans  to  the  val- 
ley of  the  Mississippi,  great  numbers  coming  by  way 
of  New  Orleans.  It  was  at  this  time  that  the  well- 
known  and  most  useful  German  Society  of  St.  Louis 



was  incorporated,  its  objects  being  to  protect  and  de- 
fend the  immigrants  from  Germany,  provide  them 
employment  when  needed,  and  care  for  the  sick  and 
destitute.  Nobly  has  it  done  its  work,  burying  the 
dead,  finding  homes  for  the  orphan,  and  securing 
medical  attendance,  medicine,  and  hospital  room  for 
indigent  invalids.  The  trustees  named  in  the  orig- 
inal act  of  incorporation  of  this  society  were  John 
Wolff,  Adolph  Abeles,  Thomas  J.  Meier,  Edward 
Eggers,  Henry  W.  Gempp,  Andrew  Krug,  Charles 
Muegge,  Louis  Speck,  and  John  C.  Meyer  ;  J.  Reich- 
ard,  secretary  and  agent.  The  Germans  in  St.  Louis 
to-day,  forming  a  large  proportion  of  the  population, 
and  including  many  of  the  best  and  most  wealthy  citi- 
zens, do  not  need  an  association  of  this  sort  to  protect 
them.  They  constitute  a  potent  and  fully  recognized 
industrial,  mercantile,  social,  and  intellectual  force  in 
the  community.  They  are  leaders  in  opinion  and 
leaders  of  men.  The  German  press  of  St.  Louis  is  a 
power  throughout  the  country.  It  has  contributed 
state-.  ~en,  soldiers,  and  scholars  to  reinforce  the 
national  wealth.  A  German  of  St.  Louis  has  been 
mayor  of  the  city,  another  senator  in  Congress,  am- 
bassador to  foreign  lands,  member  of  the  cabinet, 
moulder  of  parties,  and  leader  of  men.  The  St.  Louis 
Journal  of  Speculative  Science,  the  only  periodical  in 
the  country  devoted  exclusively  to  the  exploitation  of 
metaphysics,  is  a  direct  product  of  German  thought 
and  German  culture,  and  it  is  claimed  that  St.  Louis 
is  the  only  place  on  this  continent  where  the  philoso- 
phy and  the  comprehensive  philosophical  system  of 
George  Wilhelm  Friedrich  Hegel  is  read,  understood, 
and  appreciated. 

At  the  same  time  as  this  German  immigration,  St. 
Louis  received  an  accession  of  population  from  the 
French  West  Indies,  as  is  told  in  a  paper  read  before 
the  Missouri  Historical  Society  in  1878  by  Mr.  Col- 
let, the  author  being  Mr.  Edward  De  Laureal.  This 
paper  is  in  substance  as  follows : 

"  Guadeloupe  had  scarcely  recovered  from  a  terrible  disaster 
which  had  covered  the  entire  colony  with  ruins. 

"On  Feb.  8,  1843,  about  ten  o'clock  in  the  morning,  Pointe- 
a-Pitre,  the  capital  of  the  colony,  was  destroyed  by  an  earth- 
quake more  violent  than  previously  known.  What  the  reeling 
earth  spared  the  fire  seized  upon.  The  number  of  dead  crushed 
beneath  the  ruins  or  calcined  by  the  flames  was  so  great  that 
there  were  not  sufficient  persons  to  bury  them,  and  as  a  matter 
of  necessity  the  remains  were  transported  to  the  open  sea  and 
entombed  in  the  deep. 

"  Their  wounds  scarcely  healed,  they  began  to  breathe,  when 
of  a  sudden  they  found  themselves  menaced  with  ruin  from 
another  cause.  A  political  upheaving  threatened  to  destroy  in 
their  hands  the  very  instruments  of  all  prosperity. 

"In  the  month  of  March,  1848,  a  sinister  rumor  spread  like 
a  pall  over  the  country,  and  caused  a  thrill  of  terror  through- 

out. A  war-vessel  appeared  on  the  horizon.  It  came  to  an- 
nounce to  the  country  momentous  news.  A  revolution  had 
broken  out  in  France,  the  king,  Louis  Philippe,  driven  from  his 
throne,  and  been  obliged  to  take  refuge  in  England.  The 
people,  sovereign  by  revolt,  had  proclained  the  republic,  and 
constituted  a  republican  government  in  the  Hotel  de  Ville  at 
Paris.  The  authorities  of  Guadeloupe,  as  well  as  those  of  all 
the  other  French  colonies,  were  enjoined  for  the  future  to  obey 
no  other  orders  than  such  as  emanated  from  the  republic,  one 
and  indivisible. 

"These  news,  however  we  may  look  at  them  at  a  distance 
and  after  a  lapse  of  twenty-nine  years,  when  received  in  the 
colony  were  of  a  nature  to  trouble  the  country  and  to  excite  the 
population  to  deplorable  excesses. 

"Many  colonists  yet  living  who  had  passed  through  the  or- 
deal of  the  first  French  republic  felt  the  presentiment  of  what 
was  to  be  dreaded  from  another,  the  outcome  of  the  barricades. 
If  the  colony  were  not  as  completely  upturned  during  the  short 
duration  of  the  second  essay  at  republicanism,  it  was  not  the 
fault  of  those  who  made  it  their  business  to  persuade  the  blacks 
that  the  supreme  object  of  liberty  was  not  only  enfranchise- 
ment from  all  labor,  but  to  trample  in  the  dust  that  which  they 
had  heretofore  respected. 

"The  new  agents  of  power  in  the  colony,  doubtless  to  give 
proof  of  their  zeal,  casting  aside  every  precaution  so  indispen- 
sable nevertheless  in  such  grave  circumstances,  suddenly  pro- 
claimed the  abolition  of  slavery.  This  precipitation  was  most 
ruinous  to  the  country.  Of  a  sudden  the  master  and  the  slave 
found  themselves  face  to  face  in  a  position  embarrassing  to  both 
parties,  impossible  yet  to  define  distinctly,  and  which  created  a 
real  social  peril. 

"After  the  first  moments  of  astonishment  at  their  new  re- 
spective situation  there  were  compromises  between  the  newly 
enfranchised  and  the  proprietors,  who  had  at  heart  the  con- 
tinuation of  work,  compromises  which,  without  satisfying  the 
laborers,  were  initiative  to  the  ruin  of  the  proprietors. 

"  In  presence  of  this  state  of  things,  which  could  not  last 
long,  in  presence  of  the  alarming  rumors  which  night  and  day 
kept  the  population  on  the  alert,  a  common  thought  came  at  the 
same  time  to  the  heads  of  families,  who,  without  exchanging 
views,  felt  the  urgency  to  fly  from  a  coming  danger. 

"This  unanimous  thought  had  America  for  its  olgect.  By  a 
singular  chance  St.  Louis,  in  Missouri,  was  the  converging 
point  of  all  projects  of  emigration.  Consequently,  in  the  month 
of  July,  1848,  there  were  seen  disembarking  on  the  Levee  of 
St.  Louis  the  first  families  wandering  in  search  of  a  security 
which  their  native  country  no  longer  offered  them. 

"  Soon  these  families  were  followed  by  a  great  number  of  other 
emigrants,  so  that  in  1849  an  agglomeration  of  French  from 
Guadeloupe  formed  almost  a  little  colony.  They  had  just  rea- 
son to  congratulate  themselves  on  their  reception  on  American 

"But  almost  immediately  after  their  arrival  the  emigrants 
were  doomed  to  undergo  a  rude  trial.  The  cholera,  which 
during  the  spring  and  the  summer  of  1849  desolated  the  city  of 
St.  Louis,  did  not  spare  them.  Their  numbers  were  sadly 

"But  this  time  again  courage  was  not  wanting  in  the  colo- 
nists from  Guadeloupe.  Then  were  these  people,  accustomed  to 
the  elegance  of  luxury,  the  comforts  of  an  easy  life,  seen  to 
make  courageously  the  sacrifice  of  their  past  in  burying  the 
souvenir  in  the  depths  of  their  hearts,  to  begin  a  life  of  fatigues, 
of  rude  occupation  to  which  they  were  far  from  having  been 
accustomed.  More  than  one  mother  of  a  family,  thrown  entirely 
upon  her  own  efforts,  by  a  prodigy  of  economy  and  courageous 
patience,  was  enabled  to  bring  up  her  family  and  to  place  her 



children  in  a  position  to  contract  alliances  with  honorable  fami- 
lies of  her  adopted  city. 

"  To-day  the  fusion  is  complete,  and  the  descendants  of  the 
French  colonists  coming  from  the  West  Indies,  strangers  to  their 
maternal  tongue,  no  longer  make  use  of  any  other  language 
than  that  of  the  country  of  which  they  are  citizens,  or  are  in 
any  respect  distinguishable  from  those  around  them." 

The  numbers  of  this  immigration  have  been  left 
to  conjecture  or  the  imagination.  The  allusion 
to  the  cholera  year  of  1849,  however,  recalls  a 
period  of  great  suffering  to  St.  Louis,  and  great 
afflictions,  under  which  its  people  bore  up  as  if 
conscious  of  their  destiny.  The  pestilence  was  fol- 
lowed by  the  most  destructive  fire  which  ever  raged 
in  St.  Louis,  and  the  press  of  the  period,  in  comment- 
ing upon  it,  said,  "  Emerging  as  we  are  from  two 
calamities  which  have  no  parallel  in  this  country, 
suffering  alike  in  the  destruction  of  property  and  the 
still  greater  destruction  of  life,  having  lost  in  a  single 
night  houses  and  goods  enough  to  constitute  a  town 
of  very  considerable  size  and  commerce,  and  in  two 
months  buried  five  or  six  thousand  human  beings, 
it  may  be  pardoned  those  who  have  so  far  survived 
these  calamities  to  look  around  and  ahead  at  their 

That  condition  was  »not  pleasant  to  contemplate. 
Just  before  the  outbreak  of  cholera  a  corporation 
census  had  been  taken,  yielding  the  following  statistics 
of  the  population  in  February,  1849 : 

Ward  1 9,972 

"      2 10,193 

"      3 10,233 

"      4 9,221 

Ward  5 10,933 

"      6 12,930 

Total 63,482 

In  1850  the  regular  government  census  showed  a 
falling  off  of  6668,  chiefly  in  consequence  of  the 
epidemic.  The  figures  are, — 

"  White  males  in  St.  Louis  County,  Missouri : 






















100  and  upward. 


Aee  unknown... 


Females 20,987 

Total 56,803 

"Suppose  the  number  of  males  between  twenty  and  twenty- 
one  to  be  equal  to  one-tenth  of  the  number  between  twenty  and 
thirty,  and  that  number  will  be  1718,  which  taken  from  the 
whole  male  population  over  twenty-one  will  leave  34,088  over 

"  Assuming  that  there  were  34,088  over  twenty-one  years  of 
age,  calculate  from  census  returns  of  1850  the  number  under 
that  age,  so  as  to  get  a  proportion  upon  which  to  proceed  in  the 
calculation  at  this  time. 

"White  females  in  St.  Louis  County,  Mo.,  according  to  cen- 
sus (U.  S.)  1850  : 

20  years  and  under    30 10,189 

30  ' 
100  an 
Age  u 

i       it 













27  ' 






Total 20,987 

"These  figures  include  foreigners  not  naturalized,  but  as  the 
census  referred  to  is  that  of  1850,  all  not  naturalized  at  that 
time  have  since  taken  out  their  papers." 

The  excess  of  males  over  females  revealed  the  re- 
cency of  a  large  proportion  of  the  city's  population. 
In  spite  of  losses  by  the  cholera,  however,  the  St. 
Louis  press  was  not  afraid  to  make  comparisons,  and 
this  is  the  way  it  was  done : 



Ratio  for  last 


1850.    ton  years. 

Per  cent. 
















New  Orleans 49,826 

Cincinnati 24,831 

St.  Louis 4,977 

Louisville 10,341 

Pittsburgh 12,568 

"Alike  ratio  of  increase  between  1850  and  1860  as  there 
was  between  1840  and  1850  would  produce  the  following  re- 
sults in  1860 : 

Ratio  of  increase  from 
Cities.  1840  to  1850.  Results. 

New  Orleans 17  per  cent.  190,769 

Cincinnati 149  per  cent.  .  287,433 

St.  Louis 373  per  cent.  368,271 

Louisville 104  per  cent.  88,119 

Pittsburgh 130  per  cent.  107,182 

"  It  is  hardly  right  to  suppose  that  the  ratio  of  increase  will 
continue  as  large  as  the  cities  grow  in  size,  but  it  is  altogether 
reasonable  to  believe  that  their  relative  ratio  will  be  nearly 
preserved,  which  is  sufficient  to  show  that  St.  Louis  is  destined 
to  be  the  largest  city  in  the  valley  of  the  Mississippi  in  1860, 
if  she  be  not  now,  upon  two  years'  increase. 

"  It  is  to  bo  remembered  that  in  the  census  of  1850,  St.  Louis 
lost  souie  eight  or  nine  thousand  population  from  the  fact  of 
her  outgrowing  her  chartered  limits.  All  north  of  Rocky 
Branch,  including  Bremen  and  Lowell  additions,  were  left  out, 
and  on  the  west  all  beyond  Eighteenth  Street  and  Second  Ca- 
rondelet  Avenue,  which,  if  included,  would  swell  her  popula- 
tion more  than  a  tenth,  and  also  her  percentage  of  increase. 

"  It  is  also  well  to  remember  that  her  census  was  taken  the 
year  immediately  following  the  two  greatest  calamities  that  ever 
befell  her, — the  cholera  and  the  great  fire  of  1849, — and  before 
she  had  time  to  recover  from  their  effects. 

"If  her  chartered  limits  embraced  the  whole  city,  she  is  now 
probably  the  largest  city  in  the  great  valley. 

"This  is  no  sudden  or  impulsive  start  in  her  growth,  for  she 
held  nearly  the  same  relative  position  towards  her  sister  cities 
of  the  valley  between  1830  and  1840,  as  the  following  will  show  : 

"New  Orleans  increased  from  1830  to  1840,  105  per  cent. 
Cincinnati  "        "  "        86  per  cent. 

St.  Louis  "  "        "  "      231  per  cent. 

Louisville  "  "        "  "      105  per  cent. 

Pittsburgh  "  "        "  "        68  per  cent." 



The  city  census  of  1851  is  very  interesting  as  show- 
ing the  nationality  of  the  inhabitants  and  the  rapid 
accession  of  immigrants  from  foreign  countries. 

"  The  population  of  the  city  proper  is  77,716.  We  now  give  the 
divisions  of  that  population  as  ascertained  by  the  census.  It 
will  be  seen  by  the  following  summary  that  more  than  one-half 
of  the  population  is  of  foreign  extraction  : 

Other        Free 

First  Ward 8,792 

Second  Ward 3,124 

Third  Ward 2,147 

Fourth  Ward 1,528 

Fifth  Ward 3,858 

Sixth  Ward 4,385 





























23,814       11,277      2,921      2,459      1,259 

"  The  whole  number  of  foreigners  is  40,471 ;  the  number  of  free 
negroes,  1259.  It  appears  from  the  records  of  the  county  courts 
that  the  whole  number  of  free  negroes  licensed  to  remain  in  this 
county  from  September,  1841,  to  December,  1850,  amounts  to 
575,  leaving  684  in  the  city  and  county  without  license  and  in 
violation  of  law." 

To  the  77,716  people  in  the  city  proper  were  to  be 
added  the  residents  of  "  Bremen"  and  other  suburbs, 
5028,  making  a  total  population  for  the  city  of  82,744, 
and  yielding  an  aggregate  for  city  and  county  of  104,- 

Sheriff  Wilmer's  census,  completed  on  Dec.  17, 
1852,  resulted  in : 

Population  of  the  city 94,819 

"  "       county 29,034 

Total  population  of  the  city  and  county 123,853 

White  males  in  the  city 51,251 

"      females         "        40,791 

"      males  in  the  county 14,843 

"      females         "            11,500 

Free  persons  of  color,  male  and  female,  in  the  city 

and  county 1,341 

Slaves,  male  and  female,  in  the  city  and  county...  4,069 

Comparative  tables  showing  the  increase  from  the  month  of 
June,  1850,  when  the  United  States  census  was  taken  : 

In  1850.       In  1852.  Increase. 

Total  city  population 77,465         94,819  17,354 

"      county      "         27,369         29,034  1,665 

Slaves  in  city  and  county.     5,914  4,069  1,845 

At  that  time  the  California  gold  fever  was  raging 
and  diverting  population  from  all  its  ancient  channels, 
but  it  did  not  long  affect  Missouri  and  St.  Louis.  In 
April,  1855,  the  newspapers  of  the  day  reported  the 
subsidence  of  the  wave  and  the  beginning  of  a  reac- 
tion. Said  they, — 

"The  first  effect  of  the  gold  discoveries  in  California  seven 
years  since  was  to  attract  a  large  emigration  from  the  Western 
States.  For  some  years  previously  we  had  lost  many  citizens, 
who  thought  they  could  see  in  the  wilds  of  Oregon  better  oppor- 
tunities to  improve  their  condition  than  they  could  find  ou  our 
own  teeming  soil.  But  the  Oregon  emigrants  comprised  among 
their  numbers  a  good  many  whose  exit  from  among  us  was  not 
a  very  serious  loss,  thriftless  men,  who  did  well  if  they  pro- 
duced as  much  as  they  consumed,  and  whose  reluctant  labor 
yielded  but  little  for  export.  A  large  proportion  of  the  emigra- 

tion to  California  was  of  a  different  character.  Men  of  sub- 
stance, activity,  industry,  and  energy,  some  of  our  best 
farmers,  our  best  mechanics,  our  ablest  merchants,  sought  the 
land  of  gold.  This  drain  on  the  population  of  the  West  could 
not  but  be  seriously  felt  in  many  localities,  and  though  many 
went  intending  to  return,  and  though  many  have  since  gotten 
home  again,  it  is  unquestionable  that  the  population  of  Missouri 
did  not  increase  so  rapidly  from  1848  to  1854  as  it  would  have 
done  had  gold  never  been  discovered  in  California. 

"  We  are  happy  to  record,  however,  that  this  great  exodus 
seems  to  be  over  almost  if  not  entirely.  We  hear  no  more  the 
notes  of  preparation  for  the  great  journey  over  the  plains,  of 
caravans  of  hundreds  and  thousands  leaving  homes  and  friends 
for  new  and  untried  scenes.  On  the  contrary,  we  find  that  emi- 
grants to  Western  Missouri  and  Kansas  and  Nebraska  are 
coming  in,  as  they  used  to  do  in  the  days  of  the  '  Platte  Pur- 
chase,' fifteen  years  ago,  and  our  western  borders  are  now  fast 
making  up  the  losses  incurred  by  the  '  California  fever.' " 

In  1860  the  Federal  census  was  as  follows  for  St. 
Louis  County : 


Bonhomme 3,131 

Central 5,272 

Carondelet 3,827 

Marainec 2,060 

St.  Ferdinand 3,926 

St.  Louis, — 

First  Ward 21,750 

Second  Ward 13,686 

Third  Ward 10.185 

Fourth  Ward 14,616 

Fifth  Ward : 12,172 

Sixth  Ward 7,664 

Seventh  Ward 12,731 

Eighth  Ward 22,451 

Ninth  Ward 19,705 

Tenth  Ward 22,516 

Eleventh  Ward 

Twelfth  Ward.... 

White.         Colored. 



Total 175,692          5808 

The  falsification  of  returns  in  1870  makes  that 
census  worthless,  except  for  classes  of  comparison  and 
ratios.  Its  results  are  given  herewith  : 


ST.  Louis  CotJNTY. 









6  304 



1  458 



6  017 

0  'KM5 

8  923 


3  009 

1  778 


2  853 


2  705 


St  Ferdinand 


-,  v.jr. 


St  Louis                 

8  395 

805    a 



9  203 

St.  Louis. 

First  Ward  







Second  Ward  





Third  Ward  

23  109 





Fourth  Ward 

36  O'Vi 

2  538 


20  363 

12  810 

30  173 

Fifth  Ward            

3  510 


1  '.)  6-'4 

10  loll 

•JH  774 

Sixth  Ward  

2n,4i  is 





Seventh  Ward  



5,1  05 

Eighth  Ward  


7,(  01 




Ninth  Ward  

29  268 






Tenth  Ward  






Eleventh  \\ard  

31  885 




13  .102 

Twelfth  Ward  

18  787 




































-    426 






2  652 









British  America  : 
New  Brunswick  










Total  British  America  

Central  America  
















Germany  : 

5  881 

New  Hampshire  

New  Jersey  


New  York  



8  858 


4  849 






2  566 



West  Virginia  

Germany,  not  specified  


District  of  Columbia  





















At  sea  under  United  States  flag  

Not  stated  



South  America  













Total  Whites  28! 
'      Colored                                                             2' 



West  Indies  
At  sea  

Not  stated  




Grand  total                      . 

..    31  f 

,864  310,864 




The  above  exhibition  of  nationalities  was  thus 
commented  upon  and  analyzed  by  an  intelligent  jour- 
nalist at  the  time  the  statistics  were  made  public, — 

"  St.  Louis  is  indeed  a  cosmopolitan  city,  if  there  is  any  on 
earth.  There  is  still  a  preponderance  of  about  85,000  natives 
over  those  born  in  other  countries,  of  whom,  however,  22,000 
are  negroes;  but  if  the  children  born  in  St.  Louis  of  foreign 
parents  and  who  still  speak  foreign  idioms  were  counted  among 
the  foreigners,  the  two  categories  would  stand  in  a  much  closer 
proportion.  At  the  time  the  last  census  was  taken  there  were 
198,615  natives  and  112,249  foreigners  in  this  city,  the  census- 
takers  having,  with  propriety,  classed  as  foreigners  only  those 
who  were  born  abroad. 

"  Now,  according  to  nativity,  there  are  176,570  whites  and 
22,045  colored  Americans  against  59,040  Germans,  32,239  Irish, 
and  6568  English  and  Scotch,  the  balance  hailing  from  almost  all 
countries  on  earth,  even  Australia,  the  Sandwich  Islands,  and 
China  not  excluded.  A  glance  over  the  statistics  of  our  school 
population  proves  the  fallacy  of  these  figures,  so  far  as  the  ethno- 
logical character  of  the  city  is  concerned.  Of  the  24,347  pupils 
enrolled  in  1870  in  our  public  schools,  10,600,  or  a  little  over  two- 
fifths  of  the  whole  number,  were  children  of  German  parents, 
while  only  512,  or  one  out  of  forty-eight,  were  born  in  Germany. 
Doubtless,  therefore,  the  new  arrivals  are  mostly  adults ;  but 
inasmuch  as  the 'first  generation  born  of  foreign  parents  in  this 
country  retain  more  of  the  peculiarities  of  their  ancestors  than 
they  get  from  the  people  into  which  they  will  be  fused  in  the 
end,  the  ethnological  character  of  St.  Louis  at  present  is  not 
exactly  determined  by  the  statics  of  the  places  of  nativity. 

"  Considering,  therefore,  the  above-stated  school  statistics, 
and  taking  into  account  the  fact  that  about  twice  as  many  of 
the  children  in  the  city  of  German  parentage  attend  no  school 
at  all,  or  are  enrolled  in  the  various  parochial  schools,  the 
German  population,  according  to  the  standard  of  language  and 
habits,  amounts  at  least  to  90,000. 

'•  It  is  evidently  more  difficult  to  find  the  elements  for  a  simi- 
lar calculation  in  regard  to  the  immigrant  Irish,  English,  and 
Scotch  population,  and  those  smaller  numbers  from  various 
other  countries.  A  large  majority  of  these  speak  English, 
which  enables  them  to  amalgamate  sooner  with  the  American 
nationality.  But  even  of  these  a  sufficient  number  retain  their 
native  peculiarities  in  such  a  degree  as  to  warrant  the  belief 
that,  ethnologically  speaking,  the  population  of  St.  Louis  is 
very  nearly  equally  divided  between  natives  and  foreign- 

"  No  doubt  this  proportion  will  increase  somewhat  in  favor 
of  the  foreign  population  during  the  next  ten  years,  the  amal- 
gamating power  of  the  native  inhabitants  notwithstanding. 
Not  only  that  the  native  population  has  no  means  to  make  up 
for  the  regular  influx  from  abroad,  even  if,  as  it  is  supposed,  it 
will  be  smaller  than  previously,  but  during  the  first  generation 
the  foreigners  increased  in  a  larger  ratio  by  births  than  the 

"  The  increase  of  our  population,  however,  has  its  rational 
limit,  and  the  moment  the  limit  is  approached,  the  ethno- 
logical character  of  St.  Louis  will  become  more  stationary 
and  uniform. 

"After  the  second  generation  people  of  every  extraction  ac- 
quire many  of  the  physical  and  moral  characteristics  of  the 
predominant  race.  The  ratio  of  births  gets  to  un  equilibrium  ; 
the  large  proportion  of  German  children  visiting  the  public 
schools  gives  predominance  to  the  English  language;  the  accu- 
mulation of  wealth  in  tne  hands  of  families  of  foreign  extrac- 
tion makes  them  build  larger  houses  and  in  a  style  which  is 

more  in  harmony  with  the  tastes  and  wants  of  the  older  in- 

"  The  increase  of  the  colored  population  from  about  5000, 
which  it  was  previous  to  the  war,  to  upwards  of  22,000  went 
on  without  much  disturbance  in  regard  to  the  economical  fea- 
tures of  our  population  as  a  whole.  The  growth  of  the  city 
has  been  so  wonderful  during  the  last  ten  years  that  this  great 
influx  of  colored  people,  which  otherwise  might  have  been  a 
source  of  annoyance,  remained  almost  entirely  unobserved.  It 
is  probable  that  if  the  statistics  had  not  authoritatively  given 
the  number  of  negroes  in  St.  Louis  at  22,045,  very  few  of  our 
citizens  wouM  have  believed  that  more  than  about  one-half  of 
that  number  were  living  among  us.  The  cosmopolitan  char- 
acter of  St.  Louis  is  evidently  a  source  of  much  good  to  the 
country.  It  shows  in  a  microcosmos  the  manner  in  which  peo- 
ple, composed  of  every  nationality,  may  profit  from  each  other'a 
peculiarities,  bear  their  idiosyncrasies,  and  bring  them  down  to- 
a  common  level  upon  which  ay  may  safely  stand  and  mutually 
support  themselves.  People  learn  to  respect  the  qualities  and 
honest  habits  of  others,  and  to  emulate  each  other  in  energy  and 
in  their  desire  to  promote  the  welfare  of  the  whole.  The  natives 
learn  how  to  embellish  their  family  life  by  the  introduction  of 
fine  arts,  and  the  foreigners  how  to  give  up  personal  and  na- 
tional whims  for  the  public  good  and  mutual  good  understand- 

The  census  of  1880  yielded  the  figures  given  below : 




Bonhomme  township,  including  Eirkwood 

7  043 

6  162 



5  387 

Central  township  *...  

7  485 

8  923 


3  43ft 

St.  Ferdinand  township,  including  the  fol- 
lowing villages:  


7  214 




310  864 

Ward  1  


"      2  

13  997 

"      3  

14  494 

"      4  


"      5  


"      6  


"      7  


"      8  

6  657 

"      9  

10  812 

"    10  

26  904 

"    11  


"    12  


"    13  

8  773 

'    14  


'    15  


<    16  


'    17  


'    18  

24  673 

'    19  


"    20  


"    21  

4  187 

'    22  

3  294 

'    23  

<    24  


'    25  


'    26.... 


••    27  

4  824 

"    28  , 


In  1876  formed  as  a  separate  municipality  and  increased  by 
parts  of  Carondelet  and  Central  and  all  of  St.  Louis  townships, 
St.  Louis  Co. 

1  In  1876  part  to  St.  Louis  City. 



Total  population  31,888 

NATIVITY  —  City. 

Native.                                                Foreign. 
State  Born  in.          White.  Col'd.         Country  Born  in. 
Alabama  451       440     Africa  16 

Males       16,988 

Females  14,900 

Arkansas  447       238  '  Asia.  N.  S  4 

White  28,008 

California  210         10 

Atlantic  Island  5 

Colored  3,880 

Total  population  350,518 

Connecticut  639           6 
Dakota  12           4 

Austria,  N.  S  755 
Baden  3,230  a 

Bavaria                             2  848  a 

Delaware  129           1 

Bohemia  2,456 

Males  179,520 

Dist.  Columbia..        291         45 
Florida  64         18 

British  America,  N.  S.           76 
Brunswick  .        124  a 

Females         ...          .      ..     .        170,998 

Native  245,505 

Georgia  364       250 

Belgium  217 

Foreign  born  105,013 

Central  America  7 

White      328,191 

Illinois                    13  487       448 

Canada....                        .     1.935  ft 

Colored           22,256 

Indiana  2,793         76     China  71 

Indian  Territory          14           9 
Iowa  1,638         37 

Cuba  33 

Denmark  300 


State  Born  in.          White.  Col'd. 

Arkansas  30         13 
Arizona  1     
California  12     

Kansas  478         29 

England  ..    6  212  c 

Kentucky  4,306    1,686 

Europe,  N.  S  72 

—  County. 

Country  Born  in. 
Asia,  N.S  2 
Australia  2 
Austria,  N.  S  19 
Baden  321  a 

Louisiana  1,884    1,015 

France  2,138 

Maine  412           5 

Great  Britain,  N.  S....         11  o 
Greece  8 

Maryland  1,461       234 

Massachusetts...     1,780         25 
Mississippi  688    1,140 
Michigan  549         21 

Hamburg  170  a 
Hanover  3,928  a 
Hessen  1,958  a 
Holland  '  588 

Colorado  2     
Connecticut  50     
Dakota  6     
Delaware  13           1 
Dist.  Columbia..          15           1 
i.'i,  ,,.;,;>,                             13            1 

Bavaria  236  a 
Bohemia  18 
British  America,  N.  S.           16 

Belgium  27 

Montana  13           3 
Nebraska  103           8 
Nevada  8     
New  Hampshire        335     
New  Jersey  1,046           8 
New  Mexico  25           3 
New  York  8,412         41 

India  11 
Italy  879 

Luxemburg  60 
Malta  6 

Canada                                111  b 

Georgia  19         20 
Illinois                       548           8 

Cuba  1 

Mexico  46 

Indiana  167           4 
Indian  Territory            3           1 
Iowa  78     

England  265  c 

North  Carolina..        282       185 
Ohio  7,152      279 

Nassau  149  a 
New  Brunswick  39  b 

France  278 

Oregon  7     

Newfoundland  126 

Kansas  27           3 
Kentucky                   348       257 

Hamburg  4  a 

Rhode  Island...        205           3 
South  Carolina..        182       171 
Tennessee  2,008    1,607 

Norway  109 

Maine  33     

Hessen  212  a 
Holland  49 

Pacific  Islands  18 

Maryland  103         43 
Massachusetts...          89     

Hungary  8 
India  -3 

Utah  44     
Vermont  476           5 

Prince  Edward's  Isl...         15  b 
Prussia  13,612  a 

Virginia  2,305    1,574 

Poland  389 

Washington  Ter.            1     
West  Virginia...        160         34 
Wisconsin  862         18 

Russia  136 

Missouri     18,110     2885 

Mecklenburg  11  a 

Sandwich  Islands  6 
Saxony  909  a 

Nevada  1     

Nassau  58  a 

Wyoming,  9     

Scotland  1,309  c 

New  Hampshire          13     
New  Jersey  48           2 
New  Mexico..!....            4     

New  Brunswick  3  b 

At  sea,  U.  S  1     

When  added,  items  marked  a 
her  born  in  German  Empire. 
Those  marked  b  make  2091 
Those  marked  e  make  36,31 
Britain  and  Ireland, 
Native  white 

Spain  58 

Norway  2 

Sweden  551 

New  York       ,           241           3 
North  Carolina..          24         32 
Ohio  313           5 

Switzerland  2,385 
Turkey  7 

Poland  6 

Wales  241  c 

Pennsylvania...        325           6 
Rhode  Island....            8           1 
South  Carolina..          13         22 
Tennessee  151       111 
Texas    14           4 

Russia  2 
Saxony  107  a 

Weimar  7  a 
West  Indies  71 

Scotland  59  c 
Sweden  28 
Switzerland  181 

Germany,  N.  S  26,643  a 

Vermont  38           2 
Virginia  289       260 

Wales  9c 
Weimar  3  a 

Ireland  28,536  c 
make  54,901,  which  is  the  num- 

,  the   number  born   in  British 
9,  the  number   born   in    Great 

West  Virginia  ..          11           2 
Wisconsin  38           2 

West  Indies  1 

At  sea,  foreign  1 
Germany,  N.  S  1305  a 

Ireland...                                 992  c 

When  added,  items  marked  a  make  4382,  which  is  the  num- 
ber born  in  German  Empire. 
Those   marked    b    make    116,  the    number   born   in   British 
Those  marked  c  make  1325,  the  number  born  in  Great  Britain 
and  Ireland. 
Native  white         ...         21423 

Native  colored  22,200 

Foreign  -  1  0S.  01  3 

Total  population 


Increase  in  the  Value  of  Real  Estate.  —  The 
history  of  the  rapid  increase  of  values  of  real  estate  in 
St.  Louis  is  worth  writing,  for  two  reasons.     In  the 
first  place,  it  is  almost  as  full  of  wonders  as  the  tale  of 

Native  colored  3,876 

Foreign  6.589 

Total  population.  . 

,     31,888 



the  building  of  Aladdin's  palace,  in  respect  to  the 
sudden  and  almost  miraculously  rapid  advances  in 
values.  In  the  second  place,  it  helps  to  prove  the 
point  we  have  been  contending  for  throughout  this 
entire  chapter, — that  the  people  of  St.  Louis  have 
from  the  beginning  almost  been  conscious  of  the  city's 
great  destinies.  Mrs.  Hunt,  the  daughter  of  Judge 
J.  B.  C.  Lucas,  was  fond  of  telling  how  her  father 
used  to  point  to  a  piece  of  real  estate  at  Pittsburgh 
which  he  could  have  bought  for  a  song,  and  which 
sold  for  over  a  million.  The  incident  simply  illus- 
trates that  confident  belief  entertained  by  Judge 
Lucas  in  the  future  of  St.  Louis  which  kept  him  a 
poor  man  all  his  life,  and  reduced  him,  while  the 
owner  of  millions  in  land,  to  an  income  of  less  than 
two  thousand  dollars  a  year  even  at  the  day  of  his 
death.  Henry  W.  Williams,  who  knows  as  much, 
probably,  about  real  estate  as  any  single  person  in  St. 
Louis,  prepared  a  very  curious  paper  in  1860  for  Mr. 
Edwards'  "  Great  West"  about  "  the  advance  of  real 
estate  in  St.  Louis,"  an  article  from  which  we  borrow 
largely.  Mr.  Williams  says, — 

"  The  rise  of  real  estate  in  St.  Louis  has  been  so 
fabulous  that  it  has  become  a  theme  of  wonder  and 
interest.  We  could  not  make  this  history  complete 
did  we  not  give  some  account  of  the  progressions,  and 
to  make  the  relation  more  varied,  more  extensive, 
more  authentic  and  interesting,  we  have  solicited  the 
aid  of  those  gentlemen  that  are  known  to  the  com- 
munity as  most  conversant  with  all  of  its  features,  and, 
without  comment  or  alteration,  we  give  to  our  readers 
the  communications  which  have  been  addressed  to  us 
relative  to  our  inquiries." 

And  here  is  one  of  his  examples, — 

"Sr.  Louis,  March  24,  1860. 

"  DEAR  SIR, — In  compliance  with  your  request,  I  have  tried 
to  bring  to  mind  as  far  as  I  could  the  value  of  real  estate  in  this 
city  during  the  past  forty-two  years.  I  have  not  been  a  specu- 
lator in  lands,  but  have  bought  for  my  own  use.  In  the  year 
1822  I  purchased  a  lot  on  Third  Street,  between  Plum  and 
Cedar  Streets,  75  feet  front  by  150  in  depth,  for  the  sum  of  $225 
the  lot.  In  the  year  1846  I  sold  the  same  lot  for  $3000,  and  it  is 
now  held  at  a  bid  of  $17,000.  In  1834  I  bought  a  lot  on  Main 
Street,  between  Spruce  and  Myrtle  Streets,  40  feet  front,  run- 
ning to  the  river-bank,  for  $350,  and  in  1852  I  sold  it,  with  a 
two-story  house  on  it,  for  $10,000.  The  same  property  is  now 
worth  $35,000.  In  1845  I  bought  a  lot  on  Second  Street,  be- 
tween Lombard  and  Hazel  Streets,  150  feet  front,  running  to 
the  river,  for  $800,  and  in  1855  I  sold  one-third  of  it  for  $42,- 
000,  and  held  the  balance  at  $100,000.  In  1849  I  bought  a 
house  and  lot  on  Walnut  Street,  between  Sixth  and  Seventh 
Streets,  for  $6000.  In  1856  I  was  offered  $15,000  for  it.  I 
have  known  similar  sales. 

"Yours  truly,  W.  RISLEY." 

Here  follows  another, — 

"ST.  Louis,  Feb.  9,  1860. 

"DEAR  SIR, — At  your  request  I  refresh  my  memory  to  give 
you,  as  far  as  I  can  in  my  opinion,  the  value  of  property  in  St. 
Louis  for  some  twenty-five  to  thirty-five  years  back.  The  first 
sale  which  I  can  recollect  was  made  by  grandmother  Dubruil, 
of  a  lot  on  the  corner  of  Second  and  Pine  Streets,  70  feet  front 
by  150  deep,  to  M.  Papin,  for  §700.  This  was,  I  think,  in  1822 
or  1823.  My  mother  bought,  in  1822  or  1823,  a  lot  70  feet  front 
by  150  in  depth,  corner  of  Second  and  Olive  Streets,  southwest 
corner,  with  good  stone  house,  log  kitchen,  barn,  and  good  fences, 
all  for  $1500.  The  above  are  now  worth  from  $1500  to  $2000 
per  foot. 

"  In  1826  my  grandmother's  property  on  Second  Street,  block 
61,  I  believe  between  Chestnut  and  Pine  Streets,  was  sold  by 
the  administrator,  50  feet,  corner  Second  and  Chestnut,  by  150, 
for  $10  per  foot.  The  remainder,  about  18  feet,  with  a  first- 
rate  stone  house  and  kitchen,  was  bought  in  by  my  mother  for 
benefit  of  estate  for  $3000,  and  sold  by  her  to  Mr.  Gay  in  1830 
or  1831  for  the  same  price,  so  that  property  had  not  risen  in 
that  locality  from  1826  to  1831.  Property  even  in  the  business 
parts  of  the  city  had  but  a  nominal  value  till  about  1832  to 
1833.  It  may  have  commenced  rising  a  little  in  1831,  but  so 
slightly  that  it  was  not  noticeable,  and  did  not  really  seem  to 
rise  till  1835.  From  this  period  it  went  up  in  the  business  parts 
of  the  town  pretty  rapidly  till  1838  or  1839,  the  commencement 
of  bank  disasters.  From  that  period  to  1842-43,  though  there 
may  have  been  no  fall,  there  was  no  demand,  and,  to  my  knowl- 
edge, no  sales. 

"In  1836  or  1837  I  heard  Mr.  Lucas  offer  land  about  Lucas 
Place  for  two  hundred  dollars  an  acre.  He  sold  lots  to  Benoist, 
Bogy,  and  others  on  Eighth  Street,  between  Pine  and  Locust 
Streets,  for  ten  dollars  per  foot. 

"After  the  crash  of  the  banks,  from  1837  to  1841,  property 
had  but  a  nominal  value;  it  commenced  rising  about  1842  or 
1843,  and  went  up  gradually  till  1845,  from  which  time  it  im- 
proved more  rapidly  till  the  great  fire  in  1849.  From  the  latter 
date  it  rose  very  fast  to  the  present  time,  and  still  continues 
rising,  notwithstanding  the  cry  of  croakers  to  the  contrary, 
and,  in  my  humble  judgment,  will  continue  onward  till  the 
great  valley  of  the  Mississippi  is  filled  up  and  densely  popu- 
lated. Country  property  rose  but  little  until  the  building  of 
plank  and  macadamized  roads,  but  went  up  magically  after  the 
commencement  of  our  railroads. 

"To  resume,  in  my  opinion  there  was  but  an  imperceptible, 
if  any,  rise  in  property  in  the  city  till  1834  or  1835,  when  it 
continued  to  rise  slowly  till  the  great  crash  in  1838  or  1839.  It 
went  up  again  about  1842  or  1843,  slowly  till  1849,  and  from 
that  period  to  date  very  rapidly. 

"Hoping  the  above  may  add  a  little  light  to  your  valuable 
researches,  I  remain,  dear  sir,  yours  truly  and  respectfully, 

"Louis  A.  LABAUMK." 

"ST.  Locis,  March  9,  1860. 

"  DEAR  SIR, — I  will  try  to  comply  with  your  request  in  rela- 
tion to  the  relative  value  of  property  in  St.  Louis  during  the 
last  few  years. 

"I  will  give  you  the  facts' of  a  few  prominent  points,  by 
which  you  will  be  able  to  judge  of  intermediate  points. 

"  Early  in  1840  property  on  the  corner  of  Fifth  and  Market 
Streets  sold  for  $100  per  foot;  the  same  will  now  readily  sell 
for  $1000  per  foot. 

"In  1340  I  bought  lots  on  Olive  Street,  between  Seventh  and 
Eighth  Streets,  at  $40  per  foot,  which  would  now  sell  for  $350 
per  foot.  About  this  time  I  could  have  bought  of  Judge  J.  B. 
C.  Lucas  property  on  Olive  Street,  between  Eleventh  and 



Twelfth  Streets,  for  $10  per  foot,  which  is  now  worth  $300  per 
foot.  And  on  the  same  street,  between  Fifteenth  and  Sixteenth 
Streets,  $5  per  foot  is  now  worth  $200  per  foot. 

"In  1842-43  property  sold  in  Christy's  addition,  west  of  the 
St.  Louis  University,  between  Twelfth  and  Sixteenth  Streets 
and  Christy  Avenue,  at  from  $4  to  $10  per  foot.  The  same 
would  sell  to-day  for  from  $125  to  $200  per  foot. 

"  In  1843-44,  on  Franklin  Avenue,  and  south  of  it,  in  Mills' 
addition,  property  sold  about  Twenty -third  Street  at  from  §3 
to  $5  per  foot  is  now  worth  from  $50  to  $75  per  foot. 

"  In  the  neighborhood  of  the  market  on  Seventh  Street  prop- 
erty could  have  been  bought  in  1844  at  from  $10  to  $20  per 
foot.  The  same  will  now  sell  for  from  $250  to  $300  per  foot. 
Looking  southwardly,  property  sold  about  this  time  at  a  very 
low  figure,  but  has  rapidly  risen  to  figures  quite  as  high  as  in 
any  other  direction. 

"  From  1840  to  1850  the  tendency  was  north.  About  1850  a 
very  rapid  advance  took  place  to  the  south  and  southwest.  From 
about  1854  to  1860  a  great  rush  took  place  to  the  northwest,  in 
the  direction  of  fair  grounds. 

"  North  St.  Louis,  about  Bremen,  toward  1850  began  to  make 
rapid  strides. 

"  In  1849  Lowell  was  first  offered.  It  had  been  bought  only 
one  year  before  for  about  $200  per  acre.  In  May,  1849,  it  sold 
for  from  $5  to  $10  per  foot  on  Bellefontaine  road.  It  is  now 
selling  at  from  $20  to  $30  per  foot,  or  about  $4000  to  $5000 
per  acre. 

"  Thus  if  you  take  a  stand-point  about  the  court-house  you 
will  find  the  progress  resulting  about  the  same,  though  some- 
thing in  favor  of  the  northward.  Westwardly  you  will  find  quite 
an  equal  advance. 

"In  Stoddard's  addition,  which  is  only  about  ten  years  old, 
property  sold  at  from  $5  to  $20  per  foot.  It  will  now  sell  at 
from  $50  to  $125  per  foot. 

"  As  you  will  observe,  the  wave  of  progress  has  fluctuated  in 
every  direction,  first  in  one  and  then  in  another,  but  finally  it 
gains  an  equilibrium,  as  things  have  become  established. 

"  Thus  you  will  see  that  those  who  invest  money  in  St.  Louis 
have  only  to  wait  a  little  and  a  short  time  brings  about  vast 
results.  And  the  only  way  to  judge  .of  the  future  is  to  look  at 
the  past;  according  to  this  rule,  the  destiny  of  St.  Louis  is 
bound  to  be  the  great  central  city  of  the  United  States. 
"Truly  yours, 

"W.  HALL." 

"  Many  other  instances  might  be  cited,"  Mr.  Wil- 
liams adds,  "  showing  an  increase  in  the  value  of  the 
real  estate  of  the  city  of  from  thirty  to  fifty  per  cent, 
per  annum  ;  but  I  have  already  wearied  your  patience, 
and  close,  regretting  that  the  pressure  of  business 
has  prevented  my  giving  you  a  more  connected  and 
coherent  statement  of  my  recollections." 

The  history  of  real  estate  movements  and  opera- 
tions, in  the  early  periods  of  the  city  especially,  has 
been  given  pretty  fully  in  preceding  chapters,  and  there 
is  no  occasion  to  do  more  than  supplement  these  facts 
in  the  present  chapter  with  illustrative  cases.  The 
system  of  bringing  land  into  market  under  advan- 
tageous and  attractive  bids,  matured  by  Chouteau  and 
Lucas,  was  speedily  copied  by  their  enterprising  rivals 
in  business.  The  following  is  from  an  advertisement 
of  Louis  Labaume's  in  1812,  15th  of  June  : 

"  L.  Labaume,  Real  Estate  Agent.  To  the  Public:  The  sub- 
scriber has  laid  off  in  town  lots  part  of  the  plantation  on  which 
he  resides,  situated  on  the  banks  of  the  Mississippi,  about  a  mile 
north  of  St.  Louis;  each  square  is  three  hundred  and  sixty  feet 
in  front  by  three  hundred  feet  back,  being  sub-divided  into 
six  lots,  each  of  one  hundred  and  twenty  in  front  by  one  hun- 
dred and  fifty  in  back.  The  streets  running  parallel  with  tho 
Mississippi  are  sixty  feet  wide,  and  the  cross  streets  forty-five. 
One  square  is  reserved  for  public  use,  and  another  for  schools, 
etc.  He  will  dispose  of  the  rest  on  the  most  reasonable  terms 
for  cash  and  property,  and  will  give  some  credit  on  giving  good 
security.  The  beauty  and  conveniences  of  the  place  is  inferior 
to  none  in  the  country.  Those  inclined  to  purchase  will  please 
apply  to  L.  LABATJMK.'' 

This  is  cleverly  done,  and  proves  that  Mr.  Labaume 
was  an  apt  pupil  in  the  methods  for  disposing  of  real 
estate  at  good  figures.  His  heirs,  however,  will  scarcely 
forgive  him  for  selling  when  he  did.  A  corner  lot  of 
that  estate  will  now  sell  for  three  times  as  much  as 
Mr.  Labaume  was  offered  for  the  entire  property. 

Auguste  Chouteau,  unlike  Judge  Lucas,  was  always 
ready  to  sell  his  lots  in  St.  Louis  at  an  advance,  and 
when  he  saw  the  chance  to  buy  others.  He  liked  to 
turn  over  property  frequently,  "  to  realize  on  it"  now 
and  then,  as  the  phrase  goes,  showing  that  he  was  a 
person  of  less  faith  than  John  B.  C.  Lucas,  but  per- 
haps a  more  useful  man  to  have  about  a  growing  and 
ambitious  town  ;  for,  much  as  such  places  need  buy- 
ers, they  need  sellers  still  more,  people  who  are  willing 
to  let  their  real  property  change  hands  at  reasonable 
current  figures,  and  without  nursing  it  for  their  grand- 
children. Chouteau  built,  traded,  developed  indus- 
tries, turned  his  money  over  and  over  again,  and  waa 
not  afraid  of  taxes.  For  years  he  was  the  largest  tax- 
payer in  St.  Louis.  Lucas,  on  the  contrary,  was  always 
on  the  lookout  for  cheap  lots,  bought  to  hold,  and  did 
not  improve.  Cheap  lots  could  be  got  without  much 
trouble.  The  Missouri  Gazette,  of  Oct.  9,  1819, 

"  At  the  March  sale  of  public  lands  in  this  district,  one  hun- 
dred and  seven  thousand  acres  were  disposed  of  at  the  average 
price  of  two  dollars  and  ninety-one  cents  per  acre." 

At  this  time  the  values  of  land  everywhere  in  Mis- 
souri, and  not  excepting  St.  Louis,  were  greatly  unset- 
tled by  frauds  and  fraudulent  claims  and  the  long  and 
costly  processes  of  litigation.  The  liberal  land  grants 
under  the  Spanish  regime  in  its  last  year  had  opened 
the  way  to  this,  and  the  trouble  was  aggravated  by 
speculators  who  were  seeking  to  locate  New  Madrid 
lots  (land  granted  by  the  United  States  in  cases  where 
property  was  injured  by  the  earthquakes  of  1811-13) 
even  upon  the  very  boundaries  of  St.  Louis.  The 
landshark  of  that  day,  rapacious  monster,  stopped  at 
nothing  to  insure  his  claim.  Theft,  perjury,  forgery, 
murder,  all  the  crimes  in  the  statute-book  were  com- 



mitted  to  get  property  for  nothing,  and  to  dispossess 
rightful  owners  ot  their  estates  and  improvements. 
The  simple  French  habit  ans,  the  land  commissioners, 
and  the  courts  were  no  match  for  these  confederated 
thieves,  with  their  wholesale  forgeries  and  their  gangs 
of  hirelings  ready  to  swear  to  anything.  Bryan  and 
Rose,  in  their  interesting  "  Pioneer  Families  of  Mis- 
souri," have  preserved  the  affidavit  of  one  of  these 
suborned  perjurers,  given  at  Kaskaskia  in  August, 

"  I,  Simon  Toiton,  being  in  my  sober  senses,  having  taken  no 
drink,  and  after  mature  deliberation,  having  been  apprised 
that  I  had  given  a  great  number  of  depositions  relating  to  land 
titles,  as  well  those  derived  from  donations  as  from  improve- 
ments ;  that  by  means  of  these  depositions  great  quantities  of 
land  have  been  confirmed  to  different  persons  in  whose  favor  I 
have  given  these  depositions,  I  do  consequently  declare,  as  I 
have  already  declared  to  several  persons,  that  I  am  ignorant 
of  the  number  I  may  have  given,  since  I  was  drunk  when  I 
gave  them,  a  failing  to  which  I  am  unfortunately  addicted ; 
and  that  when  I  am  in  that  state  any  one,  by  complying 
with  my  demands,  may  do  what  they  please  with  me.  If  this 
work  had  been  proposed  to  me  when  in  my  senses  [hiatus  in 
manutcripi].  I  declare  that  I  recollect  that  on  the  last  day  of 
November,  1806,  I  was  sent  for.  Before  setting  out  I  drank  a 
quart  of  liquor;  and  that  there  might  be  no  want  of  it,  I  took 
it  again  on  my  arrival ;  before  beginning  the  certificates  I  took 
another  quart,  and  this  continued  until  midnight  nearly.  I 
recollect  at  that  time  to  have  given  twenty-two  or  twenty-three 
depositions  ;  that  is  to  say,  I  copied  them  from  models,  to  which 
I  made  them  conform,  observing  to  these  persons  that  what  I 
did  could  have  no  validity.  They  told  me  not  to  -mind  that, 
that  it  would  be  of  service  to  those  for  whom  I  made  them,  and 
that  I  ought  not  to  fear  anything  or  make  myself  uneasy.  I 
declare  solemnly  that  all  these  last  depositions  are  false,  as  well 
as  those  I  had  given  previously  to  that  time,  no  matter  in  whose 
favor  I  may  have  given  them;  because,  to  my  knowledge,  I 
have  never  given  any  except  when  I  was  in  liquor,  and  not  in 
my  sober  .senses.  I  furthermore  declare  that  I  am  not  acquainted 
with  any  improvements  in  this  country." 

It  was  by  this  sort  of  fraud  and  villany  that  land 
titles  were  confused  in  Missouri,  and  many  honest  and 
deserving  proprietors  swindled  out  of  their  property. 
Here  is  an  instance  in  point : 

"  In  the  year  178ft  the  government  of  Spain  granted  to  An- 
gelica Chauvin  a  concession  of  forty  by  forty  arpens  of  land 
near  the  then  post  of  St.  Louis,  bounded  by  land  granted  to  one 
Louis  Robert  on  one  side,  and  the  king's  domain  lengthwise 
the  river  Des  Peres.  The  concession  was  sold  by  the  grantee 
to  Jean  F.  Perry,  a  meritorious  citizen.  "The  government  of 
the  United  States  came,  under  treaty  obligations  to  the  Spanish 
government,  to  respect  all  concessions  of  land  similar  to  the  one 
to  Madame  Chauvin,  and  to  fully  and  faithfully  discharge  that 
obligation  Congress  in  1805  created  a  board  of  commissioners 
charged  with  that  duty.  This  board  of  commissioners  was  com- 
posed of  eminent  men  of  the  highest  integrity,  but  they  were  by 
law  restricted  to  the  consideration  only  of  concessions  accom- 
panied by  specific  and  authentic  plats  showing  the  corners  and 
locations  of  grants  presented  for  confirmation. 

"In  the  year  1811  the  board  met  and  confirmed  to  Jean  F. 
Perry,  assignee  of  Angelica  Chauvin,  forly  by  forty  arpens  of 
land,  the  concession  being  first  presented  and  then  the  plat,  and 

ordered  the  same  surveyed  according  to  possession  (the  pos- 
session of  the  grantee).  In  the  year  1812,  being  one  year  after 
the  confirmation  of  the  claim,  Perry  died,  leaving  four  orphan 
children,  all  girls  ;  and  in  the  language  of  Mr.  Griswold,  '  here 
the  monster  slept !'  Yes,  slept  for  twenty  years,  until  the  chil- 
dren grew  up  to  be  women  and  were  married.  During  this 
lapse  of  time  the  cormorants  were  busy  with  their  New  Madrid 
'  floats,'  and  before  the  children  grew  to  be  women  had  succeeded 
in  spreading  them  all  over  their  land,  although  that  land  never 
belonged  to  the  United  States." 

This  piece  of  property  was  so  long  in  dispute  that 
immense  values  and  interests  became  involved  in  its 
settlement ;  the  interposition  of  Congress  was  sought, 
and  finally  the  claimants  were  thrown  out  in  favor  of 
the  possessors.  This  instance  is  not  adduced  by  way 
of  pointing  an  injustice  or  a  grievance, — we  have 
nothing  to  do  with  the  merits  of  any  particular  claim, 
— but  to  show  how  delays  and  litigation  affected  the 
titles  and  values  of  property.  No  one  buys  a  lawsuit 
if  he  can  help  it,  and  when  he  does  buy  one  he  always 
insists  upon  its  cost  being  counted  in  the  bill.  It  is 
beyond  a  doubt  that  disputed  and  defective  titles  had 
a  very  depressing  effect  on  the  values  of  real  estate  in 
St.  Louis  for  many  years,  and  interfered  materially 
with  the  extent  and  rapidity  of  transfers.1 

1  It  is  only  proper  to  give  the  other  side  of  this  Chauvin 
claim, — the  side  of  the  occupants  whom  it  was  sought  to  oust. 
The  following  statement  of  the  case  was  published  in  1853  : 

"A  grant  was  made  to  Madame  Chauvin  in  May,  1784,  of 
sixteen  hundred  arpens  of  land,  about  six  miles  west  of  St. 
Louis,  on  both  sides  of  the  River  des  Peres,  or,  in  the  words  of 
the  grant,  'said  river  running  through  it  from  north  to  south, 
to  be  improved  within  a  year  and  a  day.'  In  June,  1785,  her 
grant  was  canceled  for  non  user,  and  the  land  specifically 
granted  to  one  Tayon.  Tayon  went  to  St.  Charles,  and  Gov- 
ernor Trudeau  granted  to  Madame  Papin  three  thousand  two 
hundred  arpens,  including  the  above  sixteen  hundred  arpens. 
Tayon  came  back,  told  the  Governor  his  grant  had  been  invaded, 
but  as  he  did  not  wish  to  disturb  the  occupant,  would  be  satis- 
fied with  a  floating  right  for  the  sixteen  hundred  arpens;  he 
got  this,  and  sold  it  to  Mr.  Chouteau,  the  brother  of  Mrs.  Papin, 
and  this  float  was  afterwards  located. 

"  J.  F.  Perry  bought  of  Mrs.  Chauvin,  in  Illinois,  her  right, 
and  presented  it  to  the  old  board  of  commissioners  for  confirma- 
tion. They  rejected  the  claim.  Subsequently  it  was  presented 
again  and  confirmed, '  to  be  surveyed  conformably  to  possession, 
and  at  the  expense  of  the  claimant.'  This  was  in  1811;  the 
survey  was  made  and  approved  in  1832,  and  the  very  place  of 
Madame  Chauvin's  possession  pointed  out  to  the  surveyor  and 
marked  on  the  plat,  and  this  survey  took  the  eastern  half  of  the 
Papin  tract,  showing  that  Tayon  knew  what  he  stated  when  he 
got  his  float.  But  the  Papin  survey  was  before  this,  confirmed 
earlier,  and  hence  the  Chauvin  survey  could  not  hold,  although 
Gen.  Ashley,  then  in  Congress,  tried  to  get  it  patented. 

"  It  has  slept  since,  sometimes  in  the  hands  of  Elliott  Lee, 
Jesse  G.  Lindell,  Daniel  D.  Page,  and  others,  until  it  turns  up 
to  belong  to  Joshua  R.  Stanford,  of  Illinois,  who  appointed 
A.  II.  Evans  his  agent  to  locate  the  claim. 

"  This  ingenious  man  fixes  his  corner  for  the  sixteen  hundred 
arpens  of  land  on  the  River  des  Peres,  and  there  turns  the 
claim  upon  it-  <i. /•/-•,  and  rolls  it  round  ao  that  its  southeast 



The  holder  of  a  New  Madrid  certificate  having 
got  an  act  of  Congress  passed  authorizing  him  to  locate 
it,  actually  attempted  for  that  purpose  to  take  posses- 
sion under  this  warrant  of  Duncan's  Island  and  the 
water-front  of  St.  Louis.  Much  of  the  city  prop- 
erty and  school  property  was  squatted  upon  in  the 
same  way,  with  a  network  of  claims  and  a  regiment 
of  claimants,  so  that  in  most  cases,  after  years  of 
costly  litigation  and  delay,  the  authorities  found  it 
cheaper  to  compromise  than  to  make  good  their  com- 
plete title.  The  schools  in  this  way,  as  fully  described 
elsewhere,  lost  a  great  amount  of  valuable  property. 

Another  thing  which  had  an  injurious  effect  on  the 
value  of  property  was  the  unsettled  condition  of  the 
city's  estate  in  the  commons  and  common  fields.  It 
would  be  mere  repetition  to  state  here  what  has  been 
so  fully  set  forth  in  other  chapters  about  these  tracts 
of  land  and  the  disposition  made  of  them.  But  the 
fact  that  the  city  held  all  this  land,  and  would  of 
course  some  day  sell  it,  put  St.  Louis  in  the  position 
of  a  powerful  and  favored  competitor  with  every 
dealer  in  real  estate  in  the  community.  The  city 
could  sell  on  terms  which  no  ordinary  operator  was 
able  to  offer.  It  could  hold  on  as  long  as  it  pleased, 
sell  all  or  as  much  as  it  pleased,  give  what  times  of 
payment  it  pleased,  in  short,  could  bull  or  bear  the 
market  at  its  option.  No  operator  in  real  estate  was 
either  able  or  willing  to  lock  horns  with  such  a  gigan- 
tic and  powerful  opponent,  and  as  long  as  the  city  held 
the  commons  it  had  the  speculation  in  real  property 
at  its  mercy. 

corner  shall  settle  in  the  Chouteau  mill  tract,  just  across  the 
Widow  Camp's  lot,  and  then  run  off  north  and  west  for  quan- 
tity, running  over  the  Grand  Prairie  common  field  lots  to 
a  little  north  of  the  St.  Charles  road,  and  going  west  from 
about  the  Prairie  House  so  as  to  overlay  John  Lay,  and  just 
escape  the  Cftte  Brilliant*  tract,  and  so  avoid  the  place  where 
Tayon  said  the  land  was,  and  where  Jean  F.  Perry  had  it  sur- 

"  This  claim  has  been  rejected  in  every  court  where  they  have 
tried  to  introduce  it,  rejected  by  the  surveyor-general  here, 
rejected  by  the  commissioner  of  the  general  land  office  at 
Washington,  and  is  now  tried  to  be  pressed  upon  the  Secretary 
of  the  Interior  by  the  employment  of  Col.  Benton  as  its  advo- 
cate. .  Col.  Benton  is  the  member  of  Congress  from  this  district, 
and  we  should  like  to  know  how  much  he  is  to  receive  for  the 
effort  to  divest  hundreds  of  owners  of  lands  in  the  Grand 

"  Mr.  Geyer,  in  the  performance  of  his  duties  as  a  lawyer,  we 
have  understood,  was  offered  one-half  of  this  claim  if  he  would 
make  it  stick  anywhere  save  where  Perry  had  located  it,  but 
he  could  not  do  it.     The  influence  of  Col.  Benton,  representa- 
tive in  Congress  from  this  district,  is  invoked  in  the  hope  of 
getting  a  different  decision  from  that  which  has  been  rendered 
by  the  courts  and  the  commissioner  of  the  general  land  office  ' 
in  the  case.     We  shall   see  how  it  work?  upon  the  secretary  of  [ 
the  interior." 

The  commons  embraced  under  various  surveys 
about  three  thousand  eight  hundred  and  thirty-seven 
acres  of  land,  lying  (as  described  in  1859) 

"  south  and  southwest  of  the  city,  and  embraces  such  locali- 
ties as  the  House  of  Refuge,  the  Lafayette  Park,  etc.,  but  a 
more  accurate  recital  of  its  boundary  lines  may  not  be  without 
interest.  The  southeastern  boundary,  then,  begins  on  the  river- 
bank,  about  a  half-mile  below  the  'Sugar  Lonf,'  or,  to  be  more 
precise,  at  a  point  three  to  four  hundred  feet  below  the  residence 
of  Charles  L.  Tucker,  Esq. ;  thence  it  follows  the  river-bank  to 
a  point  nearly  opposite  the  Workhouse;  thence,  leaving  the 
river,  and  being  bounded  on  the  east  by  lands  of  Messrs.  Kay- 
ser,  Kennett,  and  others,  it  proceeds  northerly  into  the  present 
First  Ward  of  the  city,  following  a  straight  line,  through  the 
property  of  Thomas  Allen,  Esq.,  Henry  G.  Soulard,  Esq.,  and 
others,  between  Eighth  and  Ninth  Streets,  to  its  intersection 
with  Hickory  Street ;  thence  westwardly  along  Hickory  Street 
to  a  point  between  Morton  Street  and  St.  Ange  Avenue,  about 
opposite  the  terminus  of  Fourteenth  Street ;  thence  northwardly 
again  to  Chouteau  Avenue;  thence  westwardly  with  Chouteau 
Avenue  to  its  intersection  with  Grand  Avenue;  thence  with 
Grand  Avenue  southwardly  to  the  Stringtown  road,  and  with 
the  Stringtown  road  southwardly  again  to  the  vicinity  of  tracts 
held  by  Messrs.  Chartrand  and  Delore,  a  little  below  the  house 
formerly  kept  by  Peter  Delore;  and  thence  finally  in  an  east- 
erly direction  to  the  point  of  beginning  on  the  river.  These 
limits,  it  will  be  perceived,  embrace  many  of  the  most  elevated 
plateaus,  and  withal  one  of  the  most  charming  districts  in  the 
suburbs  of  the  city  proper." 

The  common  fields  are  described  at  the  same  date : 

"There  were  a  number  of  these  common  fields  about  St. 
Louis, — the  Prairie  des  Noyer  fields  in  the  south,  beginning  at 
or  near  the  present  Grand  Avenue,  running  westwardly  for 
depth,  and  (by  way  of  some  sort  of  definite  location)  intersect- 
ing what  are  now  the  suburban  grounds  of  Henry  Shaw,  Esq. ; 
the  Cul  de  Sac  common  fields,  a  little  north  of  Prairie  des 
Noyer,  and  embracing  and  extending  north  and  south  of  the 
grounds  of  John  S.  McCune,  Esq.,  Dr.  Barret,  the  Rock  Spring 
Cemetery,  etc. ;  then  the  St.  Louis  common  fields,  beginning 
eastwardly  at  Third  Street,  and  extending  from  say  the  St. 
Charles  roaS  to  a  distance  below  Olive  Street;  and  finally  the 
Grand  Prairie  fields  still  farther  west." 

Successive  acts  of  Congress  of  June  13,  1812,  and 
May,  1824,  and  of  the  Missouri  Assembly  in  March, 
1835,  authorized  their  sale,  with  reservations  for 
schools.  It  was  put  to  vote  at  the  latter  date  whether 
the  commons  should  be  sold,  and  whether  a  half, 
fourth,  or  tenth  of  the  proceeds  should  go  to  schools. 
The  ballot  decided  in  favor  of  sale,  and  of  appropri- 
ating one-tenth  to  the  school  fund. 

The  act  provided  a  sub-division  of  the  common  into 
parcels  of  not  less  than  one  nor  more  than  forty  acres, 
besides  which  the  buyers  of  common  lots  were  not  to 
pay  the  amounts  which  they  had  bid  on  the  respective 
lots,  but  to  pay  an  interest  or  rent  of  five  per  cent,  a 
year  on  the  amount  of  purchase-money  for  the  period 
of  ten  years,  after  which,  on  paying  the  full  amount 
bid,  the  purchasers  were  to  receive  their  deeds. 
Buyers  who  preferred  it  were  permitted  to  continue 



the  payment  of  such  rent  for  the  space  of  fifty  years, 
after  which,  and  every  fifty  years  thereafter,  their  lots 
would  be  revalued,  and  a  rent  of  five  per  centum  per 
annum  paid  on  these  revaluations.  It  will  be  con- 
ceded that  the  terms  of  payment  under  this  rule  were 
liberal  and  accommodating  enough  to  the  speculators 
in  common  grounds.  Accordingly,  under  these  terms, 
the  common  was  advertised  for  sale  in  1836,  and  very 
nearly  all,  if  not  quite  all,  the  lots  sold.  It  appears  ; 
that  the  affair  went  off  spiritedly,  and  the  prices  ranged 
from  fifty  to  one  hundred  and  fifty  dollars  per  acre, 
the  average  being  about  one  hundred  dollars.  On 
reflection,  the  buyers,  with  few  exceptions,  seemed  to 
unite  in  the  opinion  that  these  prices  were  excessive, 
and  that  their  common  purchases  were  a  common 
grand  "  take  in."  From  the  date  of  sale  the  Board 
of  Aldermen  was  flooded  with  the  petitions  of  the 
buyers  for  release  from  their  purchases,  and  for  a 
long  while,  and  until  the  city  had  again  secured  the 
title  to  nearly  the  entire  common,  the  authorities 
were  engaged  in  forfeiting  these  first  sales  of  1836. 

The  question  of  selling  the  common  was  then 
allowed  to  sleep  until  about  1842,  when  only  a  few  of 
the  forfeited  lots  were  resold.  In  1854  the  City 
Council,  under  further  authority  of  the  Legislature, 
passed  another  ordinance  making  new  and  different 
arrangements  for  the  sale  of  the  common.  The  ordi- 
nance appointed  a  "  Board  of  City  Common,"  with 
authority  to  sub-divide  the  common  into  lots  twenty- 
five  feet  front  by  one  hundred  and  twenty-five  feet 
deep ;  to  intersect  it  with  streets  and  avenues  of  no 
less  width  than  sixty  feet,  and  alleys  of  twenty  feet, 
and  with  power  to  sell  from  time  to  time  at  auction 
sale,  on  terms  of  one-sixth  cash  and  the  remainder  in 
equal  annual  installments  of  one,  two,  three",  four,  and 
five  years,  the  interest  on  the  deferred  payments  to  be 
six  per  centum  per  annum.  Under  this  ordinance 
five  sales  took  place,  the  first  being  in  June,  1854, 
and  the  last  in  July,  1859.  The  amounts  realized  in 
these  sales  sum  up  as  follows : 

First     sale,  June,  1854,  aggregate  proceeds,  $210,000 
Second    "      Oct.     1854,         "  "  160,000 

Third      "     May,  1855,         "  "  145,000 

Fourth    "     Oct.     1856,         "  "  100,000 

Fifth       "     July,  1858,         "  "  55,000 

making  a  total  of  $670,000.  Of  this  amount  one-  J 
tenth,  or  867,000,  was  paid  to  the  public  schools,  who 
in  some  instances  took  land  instead  of  money,  and 
from  what  remained,  8453,000  went  to  the  sinking 
fund,  and  $150,000  to  the  purchase  or  the  improve- 
ment of  public  parks;  this  disposition  of  the  pro- 
ceeds being  directed  by  the  ordinance  which  authorized 
the  sales.  To  show  how  "  circumstances  alter  cases," 

and  how  opinions  and  values  change  with  time,  in 
these  latter  sales  of  1854,  1856,  and  1858  there  were 
sums  paid  for  the  purchase  of  single  lots  25  feet  front 
by  125  feet  in  depth  which  at  the  first  sale  of  1836 
would  have  purchased  twenty-seven  and  a  half  acres, 
or  more  than  one  acre  to  every  foot  front.  Or,  to 
change  the  comparison,  if  the  sum  of  $1375  invested 
in  1856  for  a  single  lot  of  25  feet  front  had  been 
judiciously  invested  at  the  sale  of  1836,  as  it  might 
have  been  in  numerous  parts  of  the  common,  it  would 
in  1859  have  been  worth  to  the  party  investing 
from  $144,000  to  $150,000,  but  it  was  the  good  for- 
tune of  the  city,  and  the  evil  fortune  of  the  buyers, 
that,  as  stated  above,  the  original  sales  were  nearly  all 

The  last  sale  took  place  Oct.  4,  1859,  and  a  con- 
temporary report  of  it  said  that, — 

"  The  sale  of  common  lots  by  the  city,  effected  by  Messrs. 
Papin  &  Brother  last  Tuesday,  was  a  complete  success.  The 
lots  advertised  were  all,  or  nearly  all,  sold,  and  the  prices  real- 
ized were  satisfactory.  Lots  on  Maramec  Street,  opposite  Mr. 
John  Withnell's,  brought  from  $14  to  $21  per  foot,  averaging 
over  $17  per  foot.  On  Kansas,  Michigan,  and  other  avenues 
which  intersect  block  80  the  average  was  about  $10  per  foot. 
Block  80  itself  realized  about  $48,000.  Afterwards  on  Caron- 
delet  road  the  lots  brought  from  $12  to  $16.50  per  foot,  on 
Michigan  Avenue  $8  to  815  per  foot,  and  on  the  various  other 
thoroughfares  from  $5  to  $16  per  foot.  In  all  306  lots  were 
sold.  The  attendance  was  large,  numbering  from  250  to  300 
bidders.  The  sale  was  prolonged  until  eight  o'clock  in  the 
night,  at  which  hour  three  lots  were  sold  on  Lafayette  Avenue, 
opposite  Chris.  Stechlin's  brewery,  for  $77.50  per  foot.  The 
aggregate  amount  of  sales  was  7684  feet  front,  producing 

It  was  after  these  sales  had  gotten  under  way  that 
real  estate  values  in  St.  Louis  began  to  "jump."  as 
will  be  seen  by  the  following  table : 


For  the  year  1842 $12,101,018 

1850 29,676,649 

1852 38,281,668 

1853 39,3(.tr,isr> 

1854 41.104,921 

1855 42,456,757 

1856 60,689,625 

1857 73,662.043 

1858 82,160,449 

1859 92,340,870 

^Ye  do  not,  however,  by  any  means  wish  to  imply 
that  the  real  estate  interest  was  stagnant  previous  to 
this.  On  the  contrary,  there  had  been,  as  has  already 
been  shown,  a  steady  and  rapid  rise  in  values  all  along. 
It  has  been  satisfactory  as  regards  St.  Louis ;  it 
would  be  enormous  in  respect  to  any  other  commu- 
nity, Chicago  excepted.  A  few  salient  facts  culled 
from  various  sources  will  illustrate  this. 

Augustin  Langlois  conveyed  to  Albert  Tison,  Nov. 
29,  1804,  in  the  Carondelet  portion  of  St.  Louis,  two 



hundred  arpens,  "just  as  it  is  from  top  to  bottom," 
for  fifty-five  dollars. 

The  first  recorded  conveyance  of  a  lot  within  the 
limits  of  the  old  French  village  of  St.  Louis  under  the 
jurisdiction  of  the  United  States  government  was  on 
Jan.  15,  1805,  when  Francis  Liberge,  Jr.,  sold  to 
Dominick  Huge  a  lot  two  hundred  and  forty  feet  front 
on  Second  Street,  between  Market  and  Chestnut 
Streets,  and  one  hundred  and  fifty  feet  deep  westward. 
The  price  for  this  piece  was  stated  in  the  deed  to  be 
four  hundred  dollars. 

A  tract  of  fifteen  or  sixteen  acres  a  little  northwest 
of  the  old  City  Hotel,  corner  of  Third  and  Vine 
Streets,  was  bought  at  an  early  day  by  a  Mr.  Earl,  of 
Baltimore,  for  one  hundred  and  fifty  dollars.  He  did 
not  consider  it  worth  the  taxes,  and  let  it  go. 

In  1805,  Joseph  Lacroix  sold  to  Louis  Lemonde, 
for  forty  dollars,  forty  arpens,  or  nearly  thirty-five 
acres,  situated  in  the  vicinity  of  the  present  Lindell 
and  Laclede  Hotels. 

The  first  acquirement  of  the  well-known  Lucas 
estate  was  recorded  on  Dec.  14,  1807.  The  deed 
shows  that  Pre.  Duchouquette  sold  "  to  John  B.  C. 
Lucas,  first  judge  of  the  Territory  of  Louisiana,  resid- 
ing in  this  town  of  St.  Louis,  a  house  built  of  logs 
stuck  into  ground,  a  barn  built  of  cedar  wood,  the 
house  being  underwalled  and  covered  with  shingles, 
the  whole  lying  and  being  situated  on  two  sites  of  the 
ordinary  size  and  dimensions  in  this  town."  The 
deed  further  recites  the  location,  which  was  on  the 
north  side  of  Chestnut  Street,  from  Second  to  Third 
Street.  The  sale  was  "  in  consideration  of  six  hun- 
dred dollars'  worth  of  peltry,  that  is  to  say,  two  pounds 
and  a  half  of  shaved  deerskin  and  marketable  per  dol- 
lar." Judge  Lucas  paid  one-third  of  the  six  hundred 
dollars  in  cash,  and  gave  a  note  for  the  balance.  Judge 
Lucas  died  in  1843,  owning,  according  to  inventory 
in  the  Probate  Court,  $5*7,688  of  personal  estate,  five 
lots  in  the  old  town  of  St.  Louis,  all  that  portion  of 
the  then  city  from  Fourth  to  Eighth  Street,  between 
Walnut  and  Market,  fifty  acres  from  Eleventh  to 
Seventeenth  Street,  between  Market  and  St.  Charles 
Streets,  and  four  hundred  and  eighty-eight  acres  in 
other  parts  of  St.  Louis  County.  The  assessed  value 
of  the  entire  real  estate  in  1842  was  $136,890  for  city 
and  $150,000  for  country  property. 

The  first  assessment  of  property  for  taxation  in  the 
town  of  St.  Louis  of  which  there  is  any  record  was 
in  1811.  The  total  assessed  value  of  real  and  per- 
sonal property  was  $134,516;  the  rate  of  taxation 
was  one-half  of  one  per  cent.,  and  the  amount  of 
taxes  paid  was  $672.58.  The  heaviest  tax-payer 
within  the  town  was  Auguste  Chouteau,  and  his 

property  was  valued  at  $15,664.  This  Chouteau  also 
owned  about  $61,000  worth  of  property  in  the  county 
outside  of  the  then  town,  but  which  in  latter  years 
became  a  part  of  the  present  city.  Other  large  prop- 
i  erty-owners  of  that  time,  whose  estates  were  not  then 
in  the  city,  but  subsequently  added,  were  Judge  J.  B. 
C.  Lucas,  valued  at  $10,555  ;  John  O'Fallon,  $2450  ; 
William  Clark,  $19,930;  William  Christy,  $16,000; 
and  Henry  Von  Phul,  $8175. 

In  1816  a  lot  sixty-five  feet  front  on  Main  Street, 
between  Locust  and  Vine,  and  running  through  to 
Second  Street,  was  bought  for  $1200.  In  December, 
1850,  a  little  more  than  one-third  of  the  same  lot  sold 
for  $56,000.  Prior  to  this  time  it  had  yielded  an  im- 
mense rent  for  many  years. 

In  other  parts  of  the  town  of  St.  Louis  at  that  time 
(1816)  property  was  sold  at  merely  a  nominal  figure, 
by  the  arpent  or  lot.  There  was  scarcely  any  en- 
hancement in  the  value  of  property  from  that  time 
until  the  years  1829  and  1830. 

In  the  year  1829  we  find  that  a  lot  on  the  corner 
of  Morgan  and  Fifth  was  sold  for  three  dollars  and 
fifty  cents  per  foot.  In  the  year  1832  property  on 
the  corner  of  Fifth  and  Cerre  Streets  was  sold  for 
two  dollars  and  fifty  cents  per  foot.  In  the  same  year 
ninety-five  feet  on  the  northeast  corner  of  Seventh  and 
Spruce  Streets  was  sold  for  one  dollar  and  eighty 
cents  per  foot.  It  was  worth  from  three  hundred  to 
four  hundred  dollars  per  foot  in  1859.  In  the  same 
year  (1832)  property  on  the  corner  of  Fifth  and  Gra- 
tiot  Streets  was  sold  for  two  dollars  per  foot. 

In  the  year  1835  property  on  the  corner  of  Wash 
and  Sixth  Streets  was  sold  for  the  sum  of  seven  dol- 
lars and  fifty  cents  per  foot.  In  the  same  year  a  lot 
at  the  corner  of  Hickory  and  Seventh  Streets  was  sold 
for  one  dollar  per  foot,  and  the  whole  of  block  157 
was  sold  for  the  sum  of  three  hundred  dollars.  In 
the  same  year  the  lot  on  Broadway  opposite  Franklin 
Avenue,  upon  which  Wimer's  new  building  is  now 
situated,  was  sold  for  ten  dollars  per  foot. 

In  the  year  1836  property  on  Seventh  Street,  be- 
tween Wash  and  Carr,  was  sold  for  six  dollars  per 

In  the  same  year,  property  on  Green  Street,  be- 
tween Tenth  and  Eleventh,  sold  for  three  dollars  per 
foot;  on  Eleventh,  between  Green  and  Morgan  Streets, 
for  three  dollars  per  foot ;  on  Austin  Street,  between 
Twelfth  and  Fourteenth,  for  about  sixty  cents  average 
per  foot ;  on  Market  Street,  between  Third  and  Fourth 
Streets,  at  twenty  dollars  per  foot;  and  on  the  corner 
of  Clark  Avenue  and  Seventh  Street,  for  six  dollars 
per  foot. 

In    1837    property   on    Twelfth    Street,    between 



Brooklyn  and  Howard  Streets,  was  sold  for  five  dol- 
lars per  foot. 

In  1841,  at  the  northwest  corner  of  Broadway  and 
Jefferson  Streets,  at  eight  dollars  per  foot. 

In  the  same  year,  on  the  corner  of  Chambers  and 
Ninth  Streets,  for  five  dollars  per  foot. 

Property  on  Olive  Street,  in  the  vicinity  of  Twelfth 
and  Thirteenth  Streets,  sold  as  late  as  1844  for  from 
twelve  to  thirteen  dollars  per  foot. 

Take  Stoddard's  addition,  for  instance,  which  was 
sold  in  the  fall  of  1851.  Property  on  the  corner  of 
Locust  and  Beaumont  Streets  was  then  sold  for  fifteen 
dollars  per  foot;  on  the  corner  of  Washington  Av- 
enue and  Garrison  Avenue  for  five  dollars  and  sev- 
enty-four cents  per  foot ;  on  the  corner  of  Franklin 
Avenue  and  Ewing  Avenue  for  fifteen  dollars  per  foot ; 
on  the  corner  of  Lucas  Avenue  and  Ewing  Avenue 
for  ten  dollars ;  on  the  corner  of  Lucas  and  Leffing- 
well  Avenues  for  the  same  price,  and  at  the  same  ratio 
throughout  the  whole  addition. 

Eight  years  later  this  property  was  held  at  sixty 
to  one  hundred  dollars  per  foot.  On  Chouteau  Av- 
enue land  worth  twenty  dollars  in  1851  was  held  at 
above  one  hundred  and  fifty  dollars  in  1859.  It  was 
noted  this  latter  year  that  there  was  a  regular  and 
systematic  ratio  of  property  value  enhancement,  and 
the  reason  assigned  for  this — undoubtedly  the  true 
reason,  too — was  that,  unlike  many  cities,  St.  Louis 
had  not  grown  to  her  proud  position  in  a  day  or  a 
year.  Nor  will  she,  like  many  of  them,  cease  to  en- 
large and  prosper  at  the  option  of  speculators.  Man- 
ufactories and  business  of  every  kind  and  character 
have  steadily  increased  and  kept  pace  with  this  im- 
mense enhancement  in  the  value  of  property.  Build- 
ings have  been  constantly  going  up,  yet  not  fast 
enough  to  accommodate  the  immense  emigration  con- 
stantly swelling  the  population.  In  fact,  the  city  has 
never  been  so  prosperous,  and  the  future  is  even  more 
promising  than  the  past  has  been  satisfactory.  There 
is  to-day  more  foreign  capital  in  the  city  and  State 
seeking  investment  in  real  estate,  business,  and  manu- 
factories than  there  has  ever  been  in  any  previous 
three  years  together.  There  is  a  larger  margin  for 
speculation  in  real  property  in  St.  Louis  than  there 
has  ever  been. 

Real  estate  is  enhancing  in  value  more  and  more 
rapidly  every  year,  and  it  must  continue  to  do  so  until 
the  vast  territory  stretching  as  far  west  as  the  Rocky 
Mountains  shall  be  densely  populated  and  pours  its 
immense  harvests  annually  into  our  markets.  It  is 
true  that  it  requires  more  money  to  invest  largely  than 
it  did  a  few  years  ago,  but  the  profits  are  greater  in 
proportion  to  the  investment  than  they  ever  were. 

There  is  not  a  single  city  in  the  Union  where  rents 
yield  such  a  percentage  on  the  value  of  the  property, 
and  yet  any  number  of  houses  in  any  locality  could 
readily  be  rented,  if  they  were  finished,  at  the  same 

Continuing  these  illustrations,  we  find  it  noted  that 
"  when  Mr.  Cozens  made  the  survey,  property  on  Lin- 
dell  Avenue,  west  of  Grand,  could  have  been  bought 
at  from  three  to  five  dollars  per  front  foot ;  it  is  now 
worth  in  many  places  one  hundred  and  fifty  dollars. 
He  has  seen  property  on  Fifth  Street  sell  for  two  dol- 
lars and  fifty  cents  and  three  dollars  per  foot, — two 
hundred  and  two  hundred  and  fifty  dollars  a  lot  were 
high  prices ;  now  the  same  property  is  valued  at  over 
fifteen  hundred  dollars  per  front  foot.  In  the  early 
'40's  Henry  Chouteau  sold  at  auction  two  hundred 
feet  front  on  Seventh  Street,  corner  of  Spruce,  at  fifty 
cents  per  front  foot.  In  Stoddard's  addition,  along  in 
the  middle  '50's,  property  sold  at  six  and  twelve  dol- 
lars per  front  foot ;  to-day  the  same  property  is  worth 
from  one  hundred  and  fifty  to  two  hundred  dollars. 
Mr.  Cozens  laid  out  in  1861-62  the  Camp  Jackson 
tract,  which  took  in  from  Garrison  Avenue,  or  Thir- 
tieth Street  to  King's  Highway,  south  of  Olive, 
through  which  Pine  and  Chestnut  Streets  were  pro- 
jected. At  the  first  sale,  about  1863,  property  in  that 
tract  brought  from  ten  to  fifteen  dollars  per  front  foot ; 
to-day  it  is  worth  from  one  hundred  and  fifty  to  two 
hundred  dollars. 

"  In  1841,  with  Mr.  Brown,  Mr.  Cozens  laid  out 
William  Christy's  western  addition,  from  Fourteenth 
Street  west  to  Jefferson  Avenue,  and  between  St. 
Charles  Street  and  Cass  Avenue ;  John  Mullanphy's 
estate,  north  of  Cass  Avenue,  from  Broadway  west  to 
Jefferson  Avenue ;  a  sub-division  for  L.  A.  Benoist, 
W.  G.  and  G.  W.  Ewing,  on  the  south  side  of  Cass 
and  east  of  Jefferson  Avenue,  property  in  which  sold 
for  from  one  to  five  dollars  per  front  foot." 

Here  follow  some  newspaper  clippings : 

1843. — "The  value  of  the  real  and  personal  property  ju  the 
city  of  St.  Louis  reported  by  the  late  assessment  is  $11,721,- 
425.91.  The  reports  from  the  treasurer  say  it  will  be  necessary 
to  levy  a  tax  of  one  per  cent,  on  the  assessment  to  meet  the  de- 
mands of  the  current  year." 

1844.— "The  total  value  of  the  taxable  property  of  this  city 
as  assessed  during  the  present  year,  and  just  approved  by  the 
board  of  aldermen,  is  $14,843,700.  Last  year  the  assessed 
value  was  about  $1 1,000,000. 

'•  It  will  be  seen  by  an  advertisement  in  this  paper  that  Mr. 
Lucas  designs  to  offer  at  public  sale  a  large  number  of  his  lots, 
situated  in  the  rear  of  the  Planters'  House,  and  in  what  must 
be  the  most  fashionable  and  agreeable  part  of  the  city.  The 
location  is  between  Market  and  Olive  Streets,  and  extending 
from  Thirteenth  to  Sixteenth  Streets." 

1845. — "  Add  the  three  districts  together,  and  the  total  num- 
ber of  houses  erected  in  1844  in  the  corporate  limits  of  St. Louis 



may  be  set  down  at  eleven  hundred  and  forty-six.  Of  these 
many  were  churches,  public  edifices,  and  costly  private  resi- 
dences. But  great  as  the  improvement  was  in  1844,  unless 
some  very  unexpected  reverse  comes  upon  us,  the  amount  to 
be  expended  in  building  in  1845  will  quite  equal  it. 

"Mr.  Lucas  intends,  we  understand,  this  season  to  make  an 
improvement  which  will  add  greatly  to  the  value  of  the  prop- 
erty in  that  quarter,  and  increase  the  population  west  of  the 
proposed  improvement. 

"We  understand  that  he  will  open  Twelfth  Street,  one  hun- 
dred and  forty  or  sixty  feet  wide,  from  Market  to  St.  Charles 
Street,  the  breadth  of  five  blocks.  Fifty  feet  or  so  in  the  centre 
of  the  street  will  be  reserved  for  a  market-house  which  he  will 
erect  this  season  at  his  own  cost,  leaving  a  wide  street  on  each 
Bide  of  the  market." 

1849. — ''  The  assessment  of  the  real  estate  in  the  city  of  St. 
Louis  for  the  year  1849,  as  appears  from  the  assessor's  books,  is 
as  follows : 

Old  Limits. 


First  Ward 

Second  Ward 

Third  Ward 

Fourth  Ward.... 

Fifth  Ward 

Sixth  Ward  ... 

New  Limits. 
$404,024.61     $2,651,677.96     $3,065,702.57   j 
2,729,208.92          660,539.47       3,389,948.39 










$13,421,568.14  $15,963,984.34  $29,385,552.48 

lNr>0. — "We  have  said  that  we  reckon  the  buildings  erected 
this  year  by  the  thousand.  By  reference  to  the  published  tables 
it  will  be  seen  that  their  number  reaches  two  thousand  four 
hundred  and  fifty.  The  money  expended  on  their  construction 
amounts  to  the  sum  of  £7,173,155." 

1851. — "Large  Sale  of  Land. — The  large  sale  of  land  which' 
has  been  going  on  for  two  days  past  in  the  '  Union  Addition'  to 
St.  Louis,  or  '  Capitol  Hill,'  was  closed  yesterday.  One  hundred 
and  sixty  lots  were  sold,  and  the  aggregate  of  the  sales  is 
$88,063.44.  This  addition  is  situated  near  the  new  reservoir  of 
the  city  water-works,  in  the  most  elevated  part  of  the  city,  and 
full  two  miles  from  the  court-house. 

"The  Stoddard  sale,  conducted  by  Leffingwell  &  Elliott,  was 
closed  yesterday,  the  gross  amount  being  $701,676.  The  whole 
tract  is  now  disposed  of,  and  we  learn  that  many  persons  who 
had  gone  to  the  ground  to  bid  failed  to  secure  any  lots.  So 
great  an  amount  of  property  has  never  been  offered  or  sold  in 
this  city  at  one  time,  and  the  aggregate  returns  of  purchasers 
evince  the  confidence  of  strangers  as  well  as  our  own  citizens 
in  the  stability  and  prospects  of  our  city." 

1855. — "The  sale  of  the  Centre  Market  property,  owned  by 
the  city,  took  place  yesterda}*,  and  was  attended  by  a  great 
number  of  persons.  The  whole  property  produced  over 

It  was  about  this  period  that  the  citizens  of  St. 
Louis  began  to  turn  their  attention  to  suburban  prop- 
erties and  the  construction  of  suburban  villas  and 
cottages.  The  country  in  the  vicinity  of  the  city 
has  long  been  noted  for  its  beauty  and  its  adaptedness 
to  the  elegant  ease  of  country-seats  owned  by  the 
wealthy  and  the  luxurious. 

The  whole  territory  environing  St.  Louis  is  very 
elevated,  undulating  gently  and  gracefully,  in  such 
manner  that  there  is  no  road  leading  from  the  city 
which  docs  not  for  many  miles  reveal  an  innumerable 
succession  of  beautiful  building  eminences.  The 

valleys  which  intervene,  the  vigorous  and  stately  oak 
groves  decking  the  hill-tops  occasionally  or  lining 
the  margin  of  chance  brooks,  the  rich  rolling 
meadows,  the  extensive  and  trim  gardens,  atoning 
by  their  careful  cultivation  and  their  freshness  for 
the  disorder  of  the  gardener's  hut  attached  to  them, 
with  here  and  there  at  rare  intervals  the  elegant 
cottage  and  finely-embellished  grounds  of  some 
wealthy  merchant  from  the  city, — all  combine  to 
make  a  picturesque  and  attractive  landscape.  An 
afternoon  ride  over  the  Bellefontaine  road,  the  Caron- 
deletroad,  the  Manchester  road,  or  over  Grand  Avenue 
sustains  the  assumption  that  there  is  no  city  of  the 
West,  at  any  rate,  whose  suburbs  reveal  greater  nat- 
ural beauties  than  those  of  St.  Louis. 

But  until  the  periods  referred  to,  these  beauties  had 
been  lost  upon  the  wealthy,  since  they  had  developed  no 
fondness  for  suburban  or  country  life.  Now,  however, 
this  began,  and  elegant  mansions  and  villas  began  to 
spring  up  about  Compton  Hill,  Cote  Brilliante,  and 
the  Carondelet  road,  and  later  along  the  railroads 
leading  into  the  city. 

About  this  time,  also,  the  people  began  to  take 
note  of  the  pace  at  which  real  estate  values  were 
being  accelerated,  and  to  look  upon  holdings  of  city 
lots  as  about  as  rapid  a  means  of  getting  rich  as  any 
one  need  employ.  They  recalled,  for  example,  that 

"in  the  year  1840,  St.  Louis,  although  a  place  of  importance, 
evinced  nothing  foreshadowing  her  present  prosperity.  Manu- 
factories of  all  kinds  were  few,  her  mercantile  operations  limited, 
and  real  estate  was  held  at  merely  a  nominal  figure.  She  was, 
in  fact,  dependent  entirely  upon  other  places  for  almost  every 
article  for  home  consumption.  In  1836,  only  four  years  pre- 
vious to  the  time  of  which  we  speak,  property  was  offered  on 
the  corner  of  Eighth  and  Pine  Streets  for  ten  dollars  per  foot, 
and  could  not  be  sold  from  the  fact  that  every  one  regarded  the 
price  as  enormously  fictitious.  The  whole  western  part  of  the 
city,  say  from  Eighth  Street  westwardly,  was  then  a  common, 
and  few  imagined  that  it  would  ever  be  used  for  anything  else. 
In  1839  the  eastern  half  of  the  block  where  the  Planters'  House 
is  now  was  sold  for  the  sum  of  one  hundred  and  fifty  dollars  per 
foot.  Every  one  regarded  the  purchaser  as  'done  for'  in  that 
speculation.  The  property  would  to-day  (the  year  1859)  sell 
for  fifteen  hundred  dollars  per  foot.  The  best  property  on 
Main  Street  would  not  sell  for  more  than  three  hundred  dollars 
prior  to  the  great  fire  of  1849. 

"In  the  years  1839  and  1840  property  on  Lucas  Place  could 
not  have  been  sold  for  three  dollars  per  foot,  and  a  sale  was  ef- 
fected by  Messrs.  Belt  A  Priest  a  few  days  since  at  the  round 
sum  of  two  hundred  and  fifty-one  dollars  per  foot.  But  we  are 
asked  the  question,  How  do  you  account  for  this  rapid  enhance- 
ment in  the  value  of  real  estate  ?  Is  it  permanent,  and  will  not 
this  state  of  things  terminate  in  total  bankruptcy  if  it  continues  ? 
They  who  propound  such  questions  know  little  of  the  illimit- 
able and  inexhaustible  resources  of  our  great  city.  St.  Louis, 
although  in  its  infancy,  possesses  the  power  of  a  giant.  The 
history  of  the  world  fails  to  present  a  single  example  of  a  city 
growing  to  such  greatness  when  fostered  by  its  commercial  posi- 
tion alone.  It  cannot  be  claimed  that  the  country  back  of  St. 



Louis  has  aided  her  much,  for  by  far  the  greatest  portion  of  it 
is  an  unbroken  wilderness. 

"The  maximum  value  of  real  estate  in  St.  Louis  has  not  been 
attained.  There  is  to-day  a  larger  margin  for  speculation  and 
an  inevitable  certainty  of  a  more  rapid  increase  than  there  was 
ten  or  twenty  years  ago.  We  are  gratified  that  Eastern  capi- 
talists have  become  awake  to  this  fact,  and  are  investing  largely 
in  real  estate  in  our  city.  We  invite  more  capital ;  there  is  room 
for  immense  amounts  to  be  lucratively  invested.  We  invite  emi- 
gration ;  we  invite  labor.  Come  one,  come  all,  there  is  bread 
and  work  for  us  all." 

And  all  this  is  just  as  true  of  1883  as  it  was  of 
1859.  The  maximum  value  of  real  estate  in  St.  Louis 
is  still  to  be  attained,  and  the  increase  to-day  is  more 
rapid  than  it  was  twenty-five  years  ago. 

The  civil  war  set  things  back  a  whole  lustrum,  but 
did  not  destroy  nor  even  injure  the  roots  of  progress 
and  development.  These,  indeed,  seemed  to  strengthen 
and  pierce  deeper  and  take  firmer  grip  of  the  soil 
during  the  period  when  they  were  prevented  from 
sending  shoots  upwards.  By  1870  all  activities  had 
been  resumed,  as  the  following  record  of  building  in 
that  year  shows : 






January  ... 












Total  $4,636,085 





The  total  number  of  building  permits  granted  during  the 
year  was  1228.  From  this  amount  there  should  be  deducted 
200  for  small  additions  not  properly  classed  as  buildings.  This 
leases  1028  buildings.  To  this  add  500  buildings  erected  aside 
from  permits  granted,  and  also  including  cases  where  permits 
cover  more  than  one  building,  and  there  is  an  approximate 
number  of  buildings  erected  during  the  year  of  1528.  The 
total  estimated  building  outlay  was  equivalent  to  $5,687,710, 
expended  in  buildings  during  the  year. 

Operations  so  extensive  and  so  costly  as  this  re- 
quired, of  course,  great  economy  in  the  regulation  of 
expenditures  and  the  selection  of  materials.  Fortu- 
nately, St.  Louis  is  very  rich  in  cheap  and  handsome 
building  materials  of  every  sort.  Nowhere  can  better 
lime,  sand,  and  bricks  be  found,  taken  right  out  of  the 
soil  on  which  the  city  is  built.  As  early  as  1839, 
Samuel  Head  began  to  quarry  and  manufacture  marble 
from  a  quarry  under  the  city,  as  is  recounted  in  the 
following  letter  from  Mr.  Garesche  : 

"On  my  arrival  in  this  city,  I  was  struck  with  the  marble 
appearance  of  the  stone,  but  was  unable  to  procure  a  person 
who  understoq^  polishing  it;  in  the  mean  time,  Mr.  Samuel 
Head,  a  young  man  lately  come  to  this  place,  whose  business  it 
was,  worked  this  stone,  and  demonstrated  to  the  inhabitants  of 
St.  Louis  how  useless  it  was  to  send  to  the  eastward  for  mantel- 
pieces or  other  marble  monuments  when  they  were  treading 
over  a  soil  so  rich  in  that  species  of  mineral.  This  marble  vies 
with  the  most  beautiful  for  the  fineness  of  its  polish,  nor  are  its 
variegated  accidents  or  color  inferior  to  any.  It  contains  abun- 
dance of  calcareous  spar,  and  some,  probably,  oxide  of  iron,  which 
shows  itself  in  scarlet  spots  of  the  most  gaudy  hue.  This  ledge, 
about  four  feet  in  thickness,  stands  between  two  strata  of  lime- 
stone. The  undermost  has  been  used  to  this  day  as  a  fine  build- 
ing material.  It  is  that  of  which  our  curbstones  are  made  and 
our  streets  are  macadamized.  It  receives  also  a  very  fine  polish ; 
it  is  then  of  a  cream  color,  with  light  gray  veins.  Under  this 
stratum  is  one  of  silex.  Mr.  Head  has  also  discovered  in  the 
same  quarry  another  kind  of  marble  of  a  nankeen  hue,  with 
black  veins  running  through,  pretty  much  in  imitation  of  scales 
of  a  fish.  The  last  specimen  has,  however,  been  found  in  but 
small  detached  pieces.  There  is  scarcely  any  doubt  when  the 
subject  is  further  investigated  but  what  some  new  discoveries 
will  be  made.  The  banks  of  the  river  for  some  considerable 
distance  appear  to  be  of  the  same  nature,  and  must  contain  the 
same  or  some  other  mineral  wealth,  which  may  become  a  source 
of  profitable  exportation  to  the  community  at  large.'' 

St.  Louis  possesses  the  advantage  of  being  built  in 
a  location  and  upon  ground  where  the  best  of  bricks 
are  easily  attainable  at  low  prices.  It  is  worthy  of 
note  that  the  appearance  presented  by  the  walls  of  the 
many  thousands  of  fine  residences  and  business  houses 
attracts  the  attention  of  every  visitor  to  the  city.  To 
build  up  a  city  like  St.  Louis,  almost  entirely  of  brick, 
requires  a  large  supply  of  suitable  clay  for  their  man- 
ufacture, but,  as  great  as  the  draft  has  been,  the  supply 
is  as  yet  comparatively  untouched,  and  as  demands  are 
made  and  investigations  prosecuted,  the  quality  in- 
creases in  value  and  importance,  and  foreign  markets, 
that  but  a  few  years  ago  furnished  clay  for  crucibles 
used  in  smelting  furnaces,  fire-brick,  etc.,  now  use 
that  of  St.  Louis  for  their  supplies,  thereby  acknowl- 
edging the  superiority  of  the  clay  found  in  St.  Louis 
over  that  of  other  sections.  So  important  is  this 
branch  of  trade  becoming,  that  several  firms  make 
this  traffic  an  especial  business,  and  are  almost  daily 
filling  orders  for  Cincinnati,  Louisville,  Boston,  New 
York,  Philadelphia,  Pittsburgh,  and  other  large  man- 
ufacturing cities  in  our  own  country,  while  orders  have 
also  come  from  Stourbridge,  England,  from  whence 
clay  used  to  be  shipped  to  different  cities  of  this 

The  manufacture  of  brick  enters  very  largely  into 
the  active  use  of  capital,  and,  like  every  other  branch 
of  industrial  manufacture,  has  undergone  many 
changes  and  has  been  attended  with  many  improve- 
ments within  the  period  of  time  that  has  passed 
since  the  St.  Louis  trading-post  began  to  give  way  be- 



fore  the  march  of  progress,  and  the  manufacturers  of 
the  rude  pieces  of  tempered  earthen  mortar  they  called 
brick — some  of  which  may  still  be  seen  in  some  of 
the  pioneer  brick  houses  of  St.  Louis — would  look 
with  wonder  upon  the  almost  scientific  nicety  and 
difference  in  shape  of  the  brick  now  made  as  com- 
pared with  those  they  fashioned,  if  it  were  possible 
for  them  to  be  raised  from  their  sleep  of  death  and 
shown  through  some  of  the  St.  Louis  brick-yards. 
But,  notwithstanding  the  many  different  kinds  of 
brick-making  machines  that  have  been  invented,  the 
old  hand  process  seems  to  be  regarded  with  a  very 
great  degree  of  partiality,  as  affording  a  better  and 
more  perfect  brick  for  building  purposes  than  any 
machine  ever  yet  introduced,  although  some  of  the 
machines  turn  out  an  excellent  quality.  With  ma- 
chinery, brick  can  be  made  much  faster  than  by  hand, 
but  it  is  maintained  by  many  builders  and  owners  of 
houses  that  the  rapidity  with  which  they  are  made 
renders  it  impossible  for  them  to  be  made  perfect  and 
solid  in  every  respect,  and  particularly  so  with  those 
made  from  dry  clay.  A  smooth,  even  surface  and  solid 
formation  are  the  qualities  requisite  to  a  good  brick, 
and  in  many  localities  clay  from  which  such  bricks 
can  be  made  is  scarcely  attainable.  Its  absence  ac- 
counts for  the  rough,  cracked,  and  almost  shale-like 
appearance  of  many  of  the  walls  of  brick  houses  to  be 
seen  in  many  sections  of  the  country. 

In  some  places  it  is  impossible  to  find  a  clay  that 
will  not  crack  either  in  sun-drying  or  burning,  how- 
ever well-tempered  the  mortar  may  have  been,  and 
instances  have  been  known  where  kilns,  in  which  a 
hundred  thousand  had  been  set,  would  not  turn  out 
more  than  twenty-five  to  fifty  thousand  merchantable 
brick.  In  such  cases  heavy  pecuniary  loss  was  un- 
avoidable, and  hence  the  importance  to  brick-moulders 
of  finding  clay  that  would  withstand  the  action  of  the 
sun  when  turned  out  in  the  yard  to  dry,  or  of  the  fire 
while  kiln-burning.  In  the  earlier  times  slop  brick 
— that  is,  brick  made  by  rolling  the  mortar  in  water 
and  casting  it  in  wet  moulds — were  more  generally 
made  than  any  other  kind,  but  the  difficulty  of  obtaining 
a  smooth  surface,  a  very  desirable  consideration,  was  a 
great  objection  to  that  style  of  brick,  and  it  gradually 
gave  way  to  other  methods,  as  did  also  the  old  way  of 
preparing  the  mortar  by  tramping  it  with  horses,  oxen, 
or  even,  in  some  instances,  by  men  and  horses.  But 
these  methods  of  brick-making  gave  way  to  sand 
brick.  These  are  made  by  rolling  the  mortar  in 
sand  on  the  moulding-table  and  casting  it  into 
moulds,  which  are  also  well  sanded  by  being  dipped 
in  a  box  of  sand  by  the  off-bearers  after  every  turn- 
ing out  on  the  yard.  It  is  very  justly  maintained  that 

this  process  secures  more  smoothly-surfaced,  nicely- 
cornered,  and  more  solid  brick  than  those  moulded 
in  slop  or  water,  and  that  it  also  secures  a  brighter, 
better  color  in  burning.  This  process  of  brick-mould- 
ing is  universally  followed  by  the  different  hand  brick- 
yards of  St.  Louis. 

White  Brick. — A  great  part  of  this  brick  formerly 
used  was  brought  from  other  sections,  Milwau- 
kee, Wis.,  being  the  most  noted  place  of  the  man- 
ufacture of  that  variety.  Within  the  last  twenty 
years,  however,  it  has  been  satisfactorily  settled  that 
in  St.  Louis  there  is  even  a  better  quality  of  clay  for 
their  manufacture  than  that  used  at  Milwaukee,  and 
their  manufacture  has  begun  on  a  large  scale.  The 
bed  of  clay  from  which  they  are  made  is  supposed  to 
be  inexhaustible. 

This  clay  burns  to  a  beautiful  white,  producing  a 
brick  every  way  equal  to,  and  in  certain  respects  su- 
perior to,  those  made  at  Milwaukee.  Their  color 
when  properly  made  is  lighter  and  more  uniform, 
while  the  shrinkage  is  uniform,  far  more  so  than  in 
the  Milwaukee  brick.  From  tests  made  by  the  engi- 
neers of  the  water-works  and  others,  their  tenacity 
is  shown  to  be  equal  to  any  in  government  reports, 
sustaining  flatways  two  thousand  pounds  on  supports 
six  inches  apart  with  a  fulcrum  in  the  centre.  Their 
manufacture  was  attempted  before  the  late  war,  and 
about  one  hundred  thousand  made  and  burnt,  but  on 
account  of  the  war  the  enterprise  was  abandoned 
until  1867.  Pressed  white  brick,  it  is  said,  are 
much  less  expensive  than  stone  fronts  and  look 
nearly  as  well,  and  it  is  therefore  a  source  of  con- 
gratulation that  they  are  manufactured  in  St.  Louis 
instead  of  imported  from  Milwaukee. 

Fire-Clay. — The  increase  in  the  establishment  of 
furnaces  requiring  the  use  of  fire-brick,  crucibles, 
retorts,  etc.,  has  necessarily  increased  the  demand 
for  these  articles.  In  the  earlier  periods  of  the 
manufacturing  interests  of  our  country,  clay  for  the 
manufacture  of  crucibles,  retorts,  etc.,  as  well  as  some 
of  the  manufactured  articles,  were  brought  from 
Stourbridge,  England,  and  Germany.  The  cost  of 
either  the  clay  or  the  manufactured  article  was  a 
matter  of  no  little  moment,  and  hence  the  discovery 
of  fire-clay  in  this  country  became  a  matter  of  con- 
gratulation to  manufacturers,  and  as  investigations 
and  discoveries  have  been  extended,  beds  of  the 
purest  and  best  of  this  material  have  been  found, 
and  now,  instead  of  importing  it  either  from  Ger- 
many or  England,  it  is  exported*  from  America  to  all 
the  manufacturing  points  of  Europe;  but  while  it  is 
found  in  many  sections  of  our  country,  none  rank 
higher  among  manufacturers  than  that  found  at 



Cheltenham  and  vicinity,  four  miles  from  St.  Louis. 
The  properties  of  the  best  pot-  and  fire-clay  consists 
of  the  following  percentage  of  component  parts  : 

Silica 64.05 

Alumina 23.15 

Oxide  of  iron 1.85 

Carbonate  of  magnesia 95 

Water...  ..   10.00 


An  analysis  of  the  Stourbridge  clay  (for  a  long 
period  of  years  regarded  as  the  most  nearly  perfect  of 
any  offered  to  the  trade),  made  by  Willis  (see  Watt's 
Diet.  Chem.,  Eng.  Ed.,  vol.  ii.  p.  653),  showed  the 
following  proportion  of  ingredients  : 

Silica 67.34 

Alumina 21.01 

Oxide  of  iron 2.03 

Alkalies 1.38 

Water 8.24 


An  analysis  of  the  Cheltenham  clay,  by  Profes-  | 
sor  A.  Litton,  shows  that  it  is  much  nearer  a  perfect 
article,  taking  the  analysis  of  the  best  pot-clay,  as 
submitted   by  Richardson,  as   authority,  than    that  I 
known  as  Homer's  best   pot-clay  from  Stourbridge,  j 
England.    The  analysis  of  both  the  crude  and  washed 
clay  is  as  follows : 

Crude  Clay. 

Silica 61.02 

Alumina 25.64 

Oxide  of  iron 1.70 

Lime 70 

Magnesia .08 

Potassa .48 

Soda 25 

Sulphur 45 

Water 9.68 

W linked  Clay. 

Silica 59.60 

Alumina 26.41 

Oxide  of  iron 1.61 





, 38 

Water 10.48 






Of  the  exact  date  of  the  finding  of  the  clay  at  Chel- 
tenham we  are  not  fully  advised,  but  Paul  M.  Gratiot 
engaged  in  the  manufacture  of  fire-brick  in  a  small 
way  as  early  as  1837-38.     His  works  were  situated 
on  what  is  now  known  as  the  Glassby  heirs'  farm,  on  j 
King's  Highway,  and  near  the  residence  of  Hon.  John  \ 
S.  McClure.     Since  then,  however,  the  discovery  of  j 
immense  beds  of  the^clay  have  been  made,  and  several 
large  fire-brick  manufactories   erected,  employing  a 
large  capital  and  several  hundred  mechanics,  laborers, 

No  substance  has  ever  been  found  anywhere  that 
approaches  the  Cheltenham  clay.  This  clay  on  being 
first  brought  to  the  surface  and  exposed  to  the  light 
has  an  appearance  similar  to  that  of  stone,  but  after 
being  exposed  to  the  weather  for  a  few  days  it  disin- 
tegrates and  falls  to  pieces.  One-third  of  the  mate- 
rial thus  unearthed  is  preserved  from  exposure  to  the 
weather,  and  this  portion  of  it  is  burned  or  calcined, 
this  process  being  necessary  to  the  proper  working  up 
of  the  material.  After  being  burned  it  is  passed 
through  a  process  of  grinding  or  reduction  from  its 
large  lumps  to  a  certain  degree  of  pulverization  neces- 
sary to  the  manufacture  of  fire-brick  or  whatever  else 
may  be  intended,  and  from  the  Iron  Age  we  extract 
the  following  description  of  the  process  to  which  the 
clay  is  submitted.  This  description  relates  to  other 
works,  but  embraces  the  same  principles  and  ma- 
chinery as  that  used  in  St.  Louis.  It  says, — 

"  Much  care  has  to  be  exerdised  in  the  selection  of  the  clay 
and  its  combinations  in  proper  proportions.  The  brick  are  to 
resist  the  intense  heat  of  the  puddling  furnace,  the  iron  cupola, 
the  locomotive  and  boiler  grate,  as  well  as  the  continuous  heat 
in  other  places  where  the  action  of  fire  is  to  be  resisted.  The 
brick  made  directly  from  the  clay  is  found  to  be  too  solid  and 
too  liable  to  fracture  from  the  heat.  To  remedy  this  and  secure 
a  porous  article  the  pure  and  best  fire-clays  are  calcined,  then 
it  is  taken  and  crushed  by  means  of  large  iron  rollers.  By  this 
process  it  is  reduced  to  a  mass  of  small  particles  ready  for  mix- 
ing with  the  pure  clays.  When  the  proper  ingredients  are  thus 
combined,  the  mixture  is  put  into  a  large  box  or  vat  and  let 
soak  about  a  day.  Then  it  goes  through  the  pug-mill,  by  which 
it  is  ground  fine.  It  is  then  ready  to  be  modeled  into  any  of 
the  required  shapes,  and  they  are  legion.  After  this  has  been 
done  the  bricks  are  placed  on  the  drying  floor,  where  they 
remain  from  six  to  ten  hours.  They  are  then  pressed,  to  give 
them  their  regular  shape.  After  pressing  they  are  again  placed 
upon  a  drying  floor,  where  they  remain  until  dry  enough  to  be 
set  in  the  kilns  for  burning.  The  brick  from  the  modelers  will 
have  to  be  handled  five  times  before  they  are  ready  for  use. 
The  two  defects  that  have  heretofore  existed  in  pressing  blocks 
flatwise  and  by  hand  are  said  to  be,  1st,  the  blocks  were  not 
pressed  hard  enough;  2d,  they  came  out  of  the  mould  of  an  un- 
even thickness.  To  remedy  these  evils  machinery  has  been  in- 
vented within  a  few  years  for  pressing  the  blocks  edgewise,  so 
that  they  come  out  fully  pressed  and  with  a  perfect  uniform 
thickness.  This  make  of  blocks,  therefore,  has  the  advantngo 
that  they  require  no  chipping  or  dressing  in  laying  them  up. 
This  saves  a  great  amount  of  labor  in  lining  or  relining  furnaces. 
It  also  makes  a  much  better  job  than  when  laid  with  uneven 

"Next  comes  the  baking  process.  Here  the  round  kilns  are 
used,  which  is  the  form  preferred  by  the  English  and  other 
foreign  makers.  These  improved,  circular,  high-coned  kilns 
are  fired  with  anthracite  coal,  and  have  a  large  number  of  fire- 
chambers  around,  and  the  heat  is  drawn  to  the  centre  of  the 
kiln.  This  arrangement  makes  the  heat  equal  throughout  the 
whole  kiln,  burning  top  and  bottom  brick  alike.  Between  the 
fire-chambers  and  the  bricks,  after  they  are  set  in  the  kiln,  are 
protection-walls  that  prevent  the  heat  from  striking  them, 
carry  it  up  to  the  top  of  the  kiln,  and  then  down  through  its 
centre,  enabling  it  to  escape  through  a  flue  or  pipe  leading 



from  the  bottom  underground  to  the  smokestack  of  the  manu- 
facturing machinery.  It  makes  heat  fast  and  very  intense, 
burning  all  the  brick  thoroughly  and  equally.  Thirty-six 
hours  of  full  heat  are  generally  required  to  burn  the  brick, 
and  about  twenty-four  hours  are  required  to  attain  this  heat. 
The  time  required  for  cooling,  of  course,  varies  with  the 

"  A  large  number  of  the  fire-bricks  manufactured  here  are 
sent  to  the  manufacturing  establishments  of  the  Lake  Superior 
regions,  while  a  great  many  are  shipped  to  the  South,  and  almost 
all  other  points  where  manufactories  requiring  intense  heating 
apparatuses  are  established;  and  so  superior  are  the  manufac- 
tures of  the  St.  Louis  and  Cheltenham  works  that  wherever 
they  have  been  introduced  they  have  been  awarded  the  pre- 
mium, both  as  to  the  quality  of  the  clay  and  superiority  of 
manufacture.  The  clay  is  becoming  an  article  of  commerce  in 
itself,  and  is  sought  after  from  the  various  manufacturing  cities 
of  our  own  country,  while  some  orders  have  come  from  Europe. 
One  or  two  firms  exist  in  this  city  that  engage  exclusively  in 
its  traffic.  It  is  usually  put  up  in  barrels,  and  is  worth  in  this 
market  sixteen  dollars  per  ton.  Fire-bricks  made  at  the  Chel- 
tenham and  Oak  Hill  Works  have  been  submitted  to  the  severest 
tests  known  to  the  business,  and  pronounced  by  experienced 
men  to  be  of  the  very  best  quality.  For  retorts  and  crucibles, 
and  everything  else  designed  to  be  exposed  to  the  action  of  a 
great  heat,  the  fire-clay  found  in  St.  Louis  County  is  unsur- 
passed, and  is  a  source  of  wealth  little  dreamed  of  by  the  pio- 
neer settlers  of  this  part  of  the  Mississippi  valley.  As  yet  it  is 
not  fully  developed  or  worked  to  any  extent  by  other  than  the 
establishments  already  named ;  but  it  is  not  saying  too  much 
to  predict  that  the  time  is  not  far  in  the  future  when  the  estab- 
lishments to  be  built  up  here  to  shape  and  convert  into  articles 
of  usefulness  will  be  equal  to  those  of  any  part  of  the  Old 
World,  to  which  America  looked  for  many  years  for  her  supply 
of  clay  for  crucibles,  retorts,  etc.,  and  thus  add  millions  of 
money  to  our  home  capital,  and  increase  our  population  by 

According  to  the  tax  assessor's  report  for  1882,  the 
valuation  of  the  real  estate  in  the  city  of  St.  Louis  is 
us  follows  :  In  the  old  limits,  or  within  the  limits 
before  1877,  there  are  63,652  lots,  valued  at  $143,- 
585,820,  and  1417  acres,  valued  at  $3,440,270  ;  total, 
$147,026,090.  In  the  area  between  the  old  and 
present  limits  there  are  18,367  lots,  valued  at  $7,233,- 
670,  and  19,056  acres,  valued  at  $7,917,850 ;  total, 
$15,151,520.  The  grand  total  for  the  entire  city  for 
the  82,019  lots  and  20,473  acres  is  $162,177,610. 

St.  Louis  now  has  about  one-third  of  its  area  cov- 
ered with  building  and  park  improvements.  There 
are  about  three  hundred  and  thirty  miles  of  improved 
streets,  two  hundred  and  fifteen  miles  of  public  and 
district  sewers,  two  hundred  and  thirty  miles  of  water- 
pipe,  eighteen  street  railroads,  having  nearly  one  hun- 
dred and  thirty  miles  of  route  through  the  city,  and 
sixteen  steam  railroads  centering  at  Union  Depot. 
-  The  United  States  government  now  owns  property 
in  real  estate  and  buildings  in  St.  Louis  to  the  value 
of  $5,787,800,  and  the  St.  Louis  school  board  owns 
property  valued  at  $2,382,342.  The  valuation  of 
property  owned  by  private  schools  and  convents  is 

$1,418,465,  and  by  church  corporations,  $3,610,586. 
The  total  amount  of  real  estate  exempt  from  taxation 
in  the  city  is  about  $35,000,000. 

The  increase  in  the  assessed  value  of  real  estate 
in  St.  Louis  in  1882  was  about  fifteen  per  cent,  as 
to  the  entire  city.  In  the  central  part  of  the  city 
twenty  and  twenty-five  per  cent,  increase  was  made, 
while  in  the  suburban  sections  five  to  ten  per  cent, 
additional  value  was  placed  on  real  estate.  But  few 
owners  made  petitions  appealing  from  these  additional 

Below  are  given  samples  of  the  assessments  on 
Washington  Avenue  and  Olive  Street  for  the  past 
two  years,  from  which  some  idea  may  be  obtained  of 
the  increased  values. 

Washington  Avenue. 

Between  Fourth  and  Fifth  Streets: 

Ames'  estate,  90  feet  front,  valued  at  $187,500  in  1881,  and 
$190,000  in  1882. 

William  G.  Clark,  owner,  112  feet  front;  increased  from 
$155,750  to  $174,500. 

Mercantile  Block,  18  feet  front;  increased  from  $17,720  to 

Between  Fifth  and  Sixth  Streets : 

Mary  F.  Barrett,  71  feet  front ;  increased  from  $82,140  to 

John  H. Beach,  23  feet  front;  from  $20,570  to  $23,180. 

Alford  Bradford,  70  feet ;  increased  from  $94,800  to  $105,- 

Charles  Bradford,  30  feet;  from  $43,200  to  $48,200. 

State  Savings  Association,  27  feet ;  from  $19,280  to  $21,000. 

Between  Sixth  and  Seventh  Streets: 

Ames'  estate,  90  feet;  from  $87,200  to  $100,000. 

New  Lindell  Hotel  Company,  182  feet;  from  $474,150  to 

Between  Seventh  and  Eighth  Streets  : 

Gerard  B.  Allen,  235  feet;  from  $94,580  to  $138,080. 

George  W.  Bull,  22  feet;  from  $17,930  to  $22,240. 

Between  Eighth  and  Ninth  Streets : 

First  Methodist  Church,  94  feet;  from  $35,880  to  $38,000. 

Between  Ninth  and  Tenth  Streets: 

Esther  Collins,  24  feet;  from  $32,330  to  $37,500. 

Olive  Street. 

Between  Fourth  and  Fifth  Streets  : 

Third  National  Bank,  37  feet;  from  $97,000  to  $103,750. 
Between  Sixth  and  Seventh  Streets : 

Provident  Savings-Bank,  25  feet;  from  $39,500  to  $44,500. 
John  B.  Sarpy,  50  feet;  from  $46,330  to  $52,900. 
Between  Sixth  and  Seventh  Streets  : 
Alice  Bacon,  25  feet;  from  $13,870  to  $15,200. 
Between  Seventh  and  Eighth  Streets : 
T.  Benoist,  44  feet;  from  $33,040  to  $40,000. 
Between  Eighth  and  Ninth  Streets: 
Laura  A.  Blossom,  25  feet ;  from  $12,290  to  $15,450. 
Odd-Fellows'  Hall  Association,   127  f«et;   from  $54,000  to 

Between  Ninth  and  Tenth  Streets : 

Gerard  B.  Allen,  100  feet;  from  $70,500  to  $92,500. 

Pelagie  Berthold,  50  feet;  from  $23,500  to  $26,500. 

Between  Tenth  and  Eleventh  Streets: 

Mary  A.  Calhoun,  24  feet;  from  $8250  to  $12,250. 



Between  Eleventh  and  Twelfth  Streets : 
Daniel  Catlin,  24  feet ;  from  $8720  to  $9720. 
Nathan  Cole,  29  feet;  from  $11,410  to  $12,800. 

John  Byrne,  Jr.,  the  pioneer,  perhaps,  in  what  has 
grown  to  be  the  colossal  real  estate  business  of  St. 
Louis,  was  born  in  New  York  City,  Aug.  3,  1805. 
His  parents  were  John  Byrne  and  Margaret  O'Don- 
nell,  both  natives  of  County  Donegal,  Ireland.  Little 
is  recorded  of  his  boyhood,  except  that  he  was  edu- 
cated at  Georgetown,  D.  C.,  leaving  school  in  1819  and 
removing  with  his  parents  to  Mobile,  Ala.,  where, 
although  a  mere  boy,  he  was  immediately  associated 
with  his  father  in  mercantile  pursuits,  for  which  he 
early  exhibited  a  special  aptitude. 

On  the  5th  of  March,  1832,  he  was  married  to  Sarah 
M.  Fitzimmons,  a  native  of  Asheville,  N.  C.,  and  of 
Irish  parentage.  This  union  has  proved  a  long  and 
happy  one,  and  on  the  5th  of  March,  1882,  the  cou- 
ple had  the  pleasure  of  celebrating  their  golden  wed- 
ding, amid  the  congratulations  of  a  large  company  of 
their  friends  in  St.  Louis. 

The  ruin  wrought  by  the  panic  of  1837  compelled 
Mr.  Byrne  to  seek  a  new  location.  Accordingly  he 
removed  to  St.  Louis,  where  he  established  a  modest 
dry  goods  house  on  Market  Street.  Few  of  those 
then  engaged  in  business  in  St.  Louis  are  now  living, 
but  one  of  the  few  is  Eugene  Kelly,  who  kept  a  store 
within  a  few  doors  of  his,  and  who  is  now  a  wealthy 
banker  of  New  York. 

In  1840,  Mr.  Byrne  opened  a  real  estate  office  in  a 
little  building  on  Chestnut  Street,  near  Fourth. 
Although  the  honor  has  been  claimed  for  others,  he 
was  perhaps  the  pioneer  in  this  business,  and  H.  W. 
Leffingwell  appears  to  have  been  the  next  person  to 
engage  in  this  as  yet  untried  field. 

Mr.  Byrne's  industry  and  fidelity  to  the  interests  of 
his  patrons  were  speedily  recognized,  and  he  soon  had 
the  satisfaction  of  seeing  his  business  established  on 
a  substantial  basis.  Its  increase  has  been  singularly 
uniform,  a  result  due  perhaps  to  his  conservatism, 
which  prevented  his  engaging  in  the  wild  speculations 
that  proved  so  ruinous  to  others  in  the  real  estate 
trade.  This  caution  begot  confidence  in  him  and 
gained  him  custom,  and  some  of  the  largest  estates  in 
St.  Louis  have  passed  through  his  hands.  It  is  now 
forty-two  years  since  the  business  was  inaugurated, 
and  the  generous  competence  which  Mr.  Byrne  is 
now  enjoying  in  the  evening  of  his  days  is  the  fitting 
reward  for  years  of  watchful  and  incessant  indus- 

Although  not  a  politician,  Mr.  Byrne  has  not  de- 
clined to  serve  the  public  when  called  upon.  At  one 
time  he  was  a  member  of  the  Board  of  Education, 

serving  with  Chancellor  Eliot,  and  proved  himself  a 
progressive  friend  of  the  public  school  system. 

He  is  a  devoted  member  of  the  Catholic  Church, 
and  was  one  of  the  founders  of  the  St.  Vincent  de 
Paul  Association.  When  he  arrived  in  St.  Louis  he 
says  the  population  was  only  eighteen  thousand.  The 
court-house  was  the  only  public  building,  and  that 
was  unfinished.  The  only  Catholic  Churches  were 
the  cathedral  and  the  chapel  of  the  St.  Louis  Uni- 
versity, and  the  only  two  Catholic  institutions  were 
the  St.  Louis  University,  under  Father  Ellet,  and  the 
Convent  of  the  Sacred  Heart. 

Mr.  Byrne  was  a  director  in  the  Central  Savings- 
Bank,  and  when  it  failed  he  lost  his  investments  and 
the  deposits  of  his  house.  He  is  now  a  director  in 
the  Safe  Deposit  Company. 

Mr.  Byrne  has  had  two  children.  Mary  Elizabeth 
was  born  in  New  York  in  1833,  and  in  1856  was 
married  in  St.  Louis  to  Dr.  F.  L.  Haydel,  of  St. 
James  Parish,  La.  Dr.  Haydel  has  been  associated 
with  his  father-in-law  for  many  years  as  superintend- 
ent of  his  business. 

The  fate  of  James  Fitzsimmons  Byrne  was  a  tragic 
one.  He  was  born  in  St.  Louis,  May  27,  1842 ;  at- 
tended school  at  Antwerp,  Belgium,  for  four  years, 
and  on  June  8,  1864,  was  drowned  in  the  Rhine  at 
Bonn,  Prussia.  He  was  a  young  man  of  exceptional 
promise,  and  his  sudden  death  fell  with  crushing 
weight  upon  his  parents. 

Although  now  considerably  beyond  the  Scriptural 
limit  of  "  threescore  years  and  ten,"  Mr.  Byrne  has 
not  until  lately  exhibited  any  marked  decay  of  body 
or  mind.  He  appears  occasionally  at  his  business, 
and  attends  to  many  details,  and  still  manifests  con- 
siderable interest  in  affairs.  Of  a  retiring  nature,  he 
has  always  shunned  publicity,  and  would  prefer,  if 
judged  at  all,  to  be  judged  by  his  deeds.  According 
to  such  a  standard,  there  are  few  of  the  business  men 
of  St.  Louis  who  have  accomplished  more,  not  merely 
in  winning  success  in  business,  but  in  demonstrating 
the  fact  that  enduring  success  is  the  natural  result  of 
patient,  painstaking,  and  unostentatious  labor. 

Marcus  A.  Wolff,  another  prominent  real  estate 
i  agent,  was  born  in  Louisville,  Ky.,  May  14,  1831. 
1  His  father  was  born  in  London,  England,  of  Polish 
'•  parents,  and  came  to  this  country  when  only  nineteen 
years  old.  He  was  a  mechanic  in  moderate  circum- 
stances. Eventually  he  married  Miss  Susan  Frank- 
lin, of  Kentucky.  The  elder  Wolff  was  a  man  of 
sound  common  sense,  and,  so  far  as  he  was  able,  gave 
his  son  a  good  common-school  education.  When  the 
boy  was  only  ten  years  of  age,  however,  necessity 
compelled  him  to  leave  school,  in  order  to  contribute 



to  his   own   support  and  to  that  of  the  other  and 
younger  members  of  the  family. 

Hoping  to  better  his  condition,  his  father  removed 
to  St.  Louis,  and  Marcus  found  employment  as  a 
newsboy  and  in  various  capacities  in  the  newspaper 
offices.  The  papers  of  the  city  then  were  the  Mis- 
souri Republican,  the  Evening  Gazette,  the  Missou- 
rian,  and  the  Reveille.  For  several  years  he  was  a 
carrier  on  the  Evening  Gazette  and  the  Reveille,  and 
in  1847  he  went  on  the  Republican,  working  at  the 
press  and  carrying  papers.  The  chief  incidents  of  the 
latter  engagement  were  the  fire  that  destroyed  the 
office  of  the  paper  and  the  cholera  epidemic  of  1849. 
While  the  malady  was  raging  young  Wolff  gave  a 
signal  display  of  energy  :  three  of  the  carriers  of  the 
paper  were  stricken  down,  and  he  insisted  upon  deliv- 
ering the  papers  on  their  routes  in  addition  to  his 
own,  and  for  some  time  did  the  work  of  four  men, 
beginning  at  one  o'clock  A.M.  and  walking  continu- 
ously until  noon.  Such  service  won  the  gratitude 
and  respect  of  his  employers  and  the  admiration  of  his 
acquaintances.  In  this  eminently  practical  school  Mr. 
Wolff  completed  his  business  education. 

In  December,  1852,  he  married  Miss  Eliza  J.  Curtis, 
of  St.  Louis,  and  about  the  same  time  obtained  a  po- 
sition as  teller  and  clerk  in  a  private  banking-house, 
in  which  position  he  soon  acquired  the  reputation  of 
being  the  best  judge  of  bank-notes  in  the  city,  a  dis- 
tinction to  be  proud  of,  for  in  those  days  there  were 
about  twelve  hundred  banks  throughout  the  country 
issuing  notes  of  differing  denomination.  By  judicious 
investment  of  his  savings  he  was  enabled  in  1859  to 
establish  himself  in  business  as  junior  member  of  the 
real  estate  firm  of  Porter  &  Wolff.  The  house  soon 
became  known  as  one  of  the  most  successful  in  St. 
Louis.  In  1868,  Mr.  Porter  retired,  and  Mr.  Wolff  \ 
continued  the  business,  having  purchased  his  partner's 
interest.  In  1872  the  firm  of  M.  A.  Wolff  &  Co. 
was  established.  Under  Mr.  Wolff's  energetic  man- 
agement the  business  grew  rapidly,  and  has  long  been 
perhaps  the  largest  and  most  prosperous  of  its  kind 
in  St.  Louis. 

Pre-eminently  a  business  man,  Mr.  Wolff  has  never 
held  office,  although  a  stanch  Democrat,  and  often 
solicited  to  allow  his  name  to  be  used.  But  recogniz- 
ing the  fact  that  his  own  prosperity  depended  on  that 
of  the  city,  he  has  always  taken  a  deep  interest  in 
whatever  promised  to  advance  her  progress.  He  was 
one  of  the  original  stockholders  in  the  Boatmen's 
Savings  Institution,  and  holds  or  has  held  an  interest 
(mostly  as  director)  in  the  following  institutions: 
Second  National  Bank,  East  St.  Louis  Elevator  Com- 
pany, Hope  Mutual  Insurance  Company,  St.  Louis 

Distillery  Company,  Rapid  Transit  Company,  South 
St.  Louis  Street  Railroad  Company,  and  Real  Estate 
Exchange.  Generally,  it  may  be  said  that  no  legiti- 
mate enterprise  promising  the  advancement  of  the 
city  and  State  has  yet  been  inaugurated  in  which  he 
has  not  manifested  a  deep  interes't. 

Mr.  Wolff  is  of  a  social  nature,  and  is  a  Mason, 
Knight  Templar,  Knight  of  St.  Patrick,  and  a  mem- 
ber of  the  St.  Louis  Legion  of  Honor  and  other  so- 
cieties. Throughout  his  life  he  has  been  industrious, 
prudent,  and  saving,  and  as  a  consequence  has  amassed 
a  handsome  competency.  His  residence  at  Cote  Bril- 
liante  is  one  of  the  most  attractive  in  the  city. 

Still  in  the  prime  of  life,  Mr.  Wolff  has  lost  none  of 
the  spirit  and  dash  that  characterized  his  early  career, 
and  appears  good  for  many  years  to  come. 



As  the  commercial  metropolis  of  the  Mississippi 
valley,  St.  Louis  lays  under  contribution  not  only  the 
great  Mississippi  River,  but.  all  the  numerous  streams 
which  swell  this  mighty  current.  Situated  twenty 
miles  below  the  mouth  of  the  Missouri  and  one  hun- 
dred and  seventy-four  miles  above  the  mouth  of  the 
Ohio,  St.  Louis  holds,  as  has  been  frequently  pointed 
out  in  this  work,  the  key  to  the  industrial  develop- 
ment of  that  vast  and  fertile  region  which  is  drained 
by  the  Mississippi,  the  Missouri,  the  Ohio,  and  the 
numerous  smaller  rivers,  and  her  commercial  existence 
is  indissolubly  linked  to  that  of  the  great  valley. 

"  Many  years  ago  the  late  Governor  Clark  and  my- 
self," says  Hon.  Thomas  H.  Benton,1  "  undertook  to 
calculate  the  extent  of  beatable  water  in  the  valley  of 
the  Mississippi ;  we  made  it  about  fifty  thousand 
miles  !  of  which  thirty  thousand  were  computed  to 
unite  above  St.  Louis,  and  twenty  thousand  below. 
Of  course,  we  counted  all  the  infant  streams  on  which 
a  flat,  a  keel,  or  a  bateau  could  be  floated,  and  justly  ; 
for  every  tributary  of  the  humblest  beatable  character 
helps  to  swell  not  only  the  volume  of  the  central 
waters,  but  the  commerce  upon  them.  Of  this  im- 
mense extent  of  river  navigation,  all  combined  in  one 
system  of  waters,  St.  Louis  is  the  centre  and  the 
entrepot,  presenting  even  now,  in  its  infancy,  an 
astonishing  and  almost  incredible  amount  of  com- 
merce, destined  to  increase  forever."  The  Missis- 

1  Letter  to  the  St.  Louis  delegation  to  the  Chicago  Convention, 
dated  June  20,  1847. 



sippi,  the  conduit  of  them  all  to  the  ocean,  must 
ever  remain  the  central  figure  in  the  group.  Rising 
in  Lake  Itasca,  about  three  thousand  two  hundred 
miles  from  the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  near  the  "  divide" 
which  turns  the  water-fall  of  that  country  into  the 
Red  River  of  the  North,  it  flows  for  over  one  thou- 
sand miles  through  a  rich  and  abundant  land,  until 
its  waters  are  broken  by  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony, 
near  which  the  thriving  cities  of  Minneapolis  and  St. 
Paul  are  located.  The  river  at  these  falls  is  eighteen 
hundred  feet  wide,  and  its  waters  are  precipitated  over 
a  ledge  of  limestone  rock  seventeen  feet  in  height, 
forming  a  dam,  the  water  of  which  supplies  power  to 
many  manufacturing  establishments  in  Minneapolis, 
the  chief  of  which  is  that  of  flour.  For  continuing 
the  improvement  of  these  falls,  twenty-five  thousand 
dollars  was  appropriated  by  the  River  and  Harbor 
Act  of  1882.  St.  Paul,  near  these  falls,  is  seven  hun- 
dred and  ninety-eight  miles  from  St.  Louis,  and  is  the 
head  of  steamboat  communication  with  St.  Louis, 
though  the  river  is  navigable  far  above  the  falls. 

Not  the  least  of  the  remarkable  features  of  the 
Mississippi  River  are  the  physical  characteristics 
which  it  has  stamped  upon  the  delta  which  it  has 
created  and  through  which  it  flows.  The  scientists 
who  have  made  a  study  of  this  river  regard  the 
delta  of  the  Mississippi  as  beginning  near  the  village 
of  Commerce,  about  twenty-eight  miles  above  the 
mouth  of  the  Ohio,  where  the  rock  in  situ  is  first  en- 
countered on  both  sides  of  its  channel,  and  supposed 
to  underlie  its  bed.  If  that  be  assumed  as  a  fact,  it 
involves  the  further  assumption  that  at  some  remote 
period  there  existed  a  cataract  or  rapids  of  far  greater 
descent  than  that  at  Niagara  somewhere  above  the 
mouth  of  the  Ohio  River.  The  elevation  of  the  low- 
water  surface  of  the  Mississippi  about  Cape  Girardeau 
is  two  hundred  and  eighty  five  feet  above  the  level  of 
the  ocean,  and  if  ever  the  level  of  the  sea  extended 
up  to  that  point,  the  Mississippi  must  then  and  there 
have  precipitated  its  waters  over  a  ledge  two  hundred 
and  eighty-five  feet  high.  If  we  imagine  a  great 
plane,  extending  from  the  mouth  of  the  Ohio,  six 
hundred  miles  in  length  and  thirty  to  forty  in  width, 
with  its  northern  extremity  elevated  two  hundred  and 
eighty-five  feet,  we  shall  have  some  idea  of  the  delta 
which  the  river  has  created  in  the  progress  of  time. 
This  plane,  containing  forty  thousand  square  miles, 
has  been  formed  in  the  course  of  ages  from  the  ma- 
terial washed  down  from  the  uplands  by  the  river 
and  its  tributaries.  The  river  has  therefore  raised 
above  the  sea  the  soil  which  constitutes  its  own  bed, 
and  flows  down  this  plane  of  its  own  creation  in  a 
serpentine  course,  frequently  crowding  the  hills  and 

bluffs.  The  actual  distance  from  the  mouth  of  the 
Ohio  to  the  gulf  is  in  round  numbers  five  hundred 
miles,  the  length  of  the  Mississippi  from  the  same 
point  to  the  gulf  is  eleven  hundred  and  seventy- 
eight  miles,  and  the  average  descent  at  high  water  is 
three  and  a  quarter  inches  per  mile.  The  course  of 
the  river  is  therefore  lengthened  out  nearly  seven  hun- 
dred miles,  or  more  than  doubled  by  the  remarkable 
flexures  of  its  channel,  and  the  rate  of  descent  is  re- 
duced by  these  flexures  to  less  than  one-half  the  in- 
clination of  the  plane  down  which  it  flows. 

The  Mississippi  bears  along  at  all  times,  but  es- 
pecially in  the  periods  of  the  floods,  a  vast  amount  of 
earthy  matter  suspended  in  its  waters,  which  the  cur- 
rent is  able  to  carry  forward  so  long  as  the  water  is 
confined  to  the  channel.  But  when  the  water  over- 
flows the  banks  its  velocity  is  checked,  and  it  imme- 
diately deposits  the  heaviest  particles  which  it  trans- 
ports and  leaves  them  upon  its  borders,  and  as  the 
water  continues  to  spread  farther  from  its  banks,  it 
continues  to  let  down  more  and  more  of  this  sus- 
pended material,  the  heaviest  particles  being  deposited 
on  the  banks,  and  the  finest  clay  conveyed  to  positions 
more  remote.  The  consequence  is  that  the  borders 
of  the  river  which  received  the  first  and  heaviest 
particles  are  raised  higher  above  the  general  level  of 
the  plane  than  the  soil  which  is  more  remote,  and 
that  while  the  plane  of  the  delta  dips  towards  the 
sea  at  the  rate  of  eight  inches  per  mile,  the  soil  ad- 
jacent to  the  banks  slopes  off  at  right  angles  to  the 
course  of  the  river  into  the  interior  for  five  or  six 
miles  at  the  rate  of  three  or  four  feet  to  the  mile. 
The  lands  immediately  on  the  borders  of  the  river  are 
extremely  fertile,  and  often  highly  cultivated,  but  as 
they  are  all  subject  to  inundation  during  the  high 
floods  of  the  river,  they  are  guarded  by  artificial  em- 
bankments. The  water  pressing  upon  these  embank- 
ments often  produces  breaches  or  crevasses  through 
them,  and  rushes  in  a  deep  column  into  the  low 
grounds,  and  sweeps  over  every  improvement.  The 
width,  depth,  and  area  of  cross  section  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi below  St.  Louis  will  be  found  in  the  following 
table,  from  the  memoir  of  Charles  Ellet,  Jr. : 

Points  on  the  River.                ^rdt.h> 

t  eeu 

At  Cape  Girardeau,  1%  miles  above—    2500 


Area  of 
Cross  Section, 
Square  Feet. 

...    4031 

1  fid,  164 

...     2830 

At  Horse-Shoe  Cut-Off  
Above  Arkansas  River,  -^  mile  
Below           "           "       %  ni''e  
At  American  Bend,  upper  side  

..     2940 
..     2*U 
...     3730 
.     3365 
..     3285 

..     3440 

...    3540 

..     3513 

Below          "           3      "       

..     4400 

..     4048 

Below        "            "    .. 

..     5613 



Points  on  the  River. 

Above  Grand  Gulf,  4  miles 
Below      "  "     3      " 

Above  Red  River,  1^  mile 
Below     "        "        1       " 
In  Racourci  Cut-Off. 
At  Tunica  Bend 
Baton  Kougc 

Above  Plaquemine,  1J^  miles 
Below  "  "        " 

Above  Donaldsonville,  1  mile 

Bonnet  Carr6  Bend,  above  Crevasse.. 
"        "  "      below        "       .. 

SauvS's  plantation  ........................... 

McMaster's  plantation  ..................... 






Area  of 

Cross  Section, 
Square  Feet. 

The  average  area  of  high-water  section  of  the 
whole  from  the  mouth  of  the  Ohio  to  New  Orleans 
is  two  hundred  thousand  square  feet.  The  estimate 
for  the  discharge  of  high  water  by  the  Mississippi  at 
the  top  of  the  flood  of  1854  was  one  million  two 
hundred  and  eighty  thousand  cubic  feet  per  second. 

At  the  time  of  the  Revolution  there  were  able 
men  who  conceived  that  the  Atlantic  States,  hemmed 
in  by  the  sea  and  by  a  chain  of  mountains,  embraced 
too  great  a  diversity  of  surface  and  products,  and  were 
too  widely  scattered  not  to  present  discordant  elements 
and  jarring  interests,  which  could  only  be  reconciled 
and  held  in  check  by  a  powerful  centralized  govern- 
ment. They  could  not  imagine  that  the  barriers  of 
the  mountains  would  be  overleaped,  and  that  other 
States  would  spring  up  in  the  remote  West;  that 
their  descendants  would  intermingle  on  the  Pacific 
coast  with  the  people  of  Asia,  and  claim  the  Sand- 
wich Islands  for  their  neighbors ;  that  Mexico  would 
present  but  a  feeble  barrier  to  their  interminable 
progress,  or  that  States  would  flourish  in  the  Missis- 
sippi valley,  in  which  one  of  the  States,  Missouri, 
unexplored  at  the  period  of  the  Revolution,  has  a 
population,  resources,  and  wealth  greater  than  all  the 
original  thirteen  when  their  independence  was  achieved, 
and  a  city,  St.  Louis,  is  more  populous,  wealthy,  and 
enterprising  than  all  the  cities  of  the  Atlantic  coast 
at  the  same  epoch. 

The  distances  from  St.  Louis  to  points  on  the 
upper  Mississippi  are  as  follows : 


To  mouth  of  Missouri 20 

Alton 5 

Grafton 18 

Cap  auGris 27 

Worthington 10 

Hamburg 10 

Clarksville 15 


Cincinnati,  111 15 


Hannibal 7 

Marion 10 

Quincy 10 

La  Grange 10 


Tully 2 

Warsaw 20 

Keokuk 5 

Montrose 12 








Miles.  Total. 

Fort  Madison 12  236 

Pontoosac 6  242 

Dallas 2  244    • 

Burlington  15  259 

Oquawka 15  274 

Keithbury 12  286 

New  Boston g  294 

Port  Louisa 12  306 

Muscatine ]g  324 

Hock  Island 30  354 

Hampton 12  366 

Le  Clair 6  372 

Camanche 18  390 

Albany 2  392 

Fulton 10  402 

Sabula ig  420 

Savanna 2  422 

Galena 30  452 

Dubuque 25  477 

Will's  Landing 12  489 

Waupaton 8  497 

Buena  Vista 6  503 

Cassville 4  507 

Guttenberg 10  517 

McGregor 22  539 

Prairie  du  Chien 3  542 

Red  House  Landing 3  545 

Johnson's  Landing 1  546 

Columbus 29  579 

Lansing 2  677 

Winneshiek 8  585 

Victory 5  590 

Warner's  Landing 11  601 

Wild  Cats'  Bluffs 12  613 

La  Crosse 16  629 

Black  River 12  641 

Fortune's  Landing 6  647 

Montoville 4  651 

Winona 7  658 

Wabashaw  Prairie 4  662 

Honie's  Landing 10  672 

Hall's  Landing 10  682 

Wabasha 25  707 

Nelson's  Landing 2  709 

Reed's  Landing 2  711 

LakePepin 1  712 

Wells' Lauding 14  726 

Bullard's  Landing 8  734 

Red  Wing 8  742 

Point  Prescott 22  764 

Point  Douglas 1  765 

Hastings 25  790 

Crow  Village 3  793 

St.  Paul 5  798 

Falls  of  St.  Anthony « 8  806 

Mendota 6  812 

FortSnelling 1  813 

Itasca 37  850 

Sauk  Rapids 49  899 

Fort  Ripley 46  945 

The  distances  from  St.  Louis  to  points  on  the  Mis- 
sissippi to  Cairo  are  as  follows : 

Miles.  Total. 

To  Cahokia 4  4 

Carondelet 1  5 

Jefferson  Barracks 5  10 

Sneck's  Landing 10  20 

Widow  Waters' Landing 1  21 

Sulphur  Springs 2  23 

Rattlesnake  Springs 2  25 

Harlow's 5  30 

Platin  Rock 2  32 

Selina 3 

Rushtower 6  40 

John  Brickley's 5  45 

Fort  Chartres 5  50 

Ste.  Genevieve 10 

St.  Mary's 10  70 

Pratt's 2  72 

Kaskaskia 3  75 

Chester 5  80 



Miles.     Total. 

Maynard 1 

Fort  Perry 1 


Herring's  .. 



Sellers  , 
Grand  Tower. 










Wittenburg 14 


'".'".'.'.'.".! 6 





V  a  null's 1 

Willard's 2 

Bainbridge 1 

Clear  Creek 9 

Cape  Girardeau 5 

Thebes 10 

Commerce .• 3 

Thornton's 5 

Price's 2 

Lane's 3 

Hunt's 1 

Rodney's 15 

Cairo 5 

Mouth  of  Ohio 5 

Ohio  City 5 


The  river  system  of  the  Mississippi  valley,  of 
which  St.  Louis  is  the  centre,  the  entrepot,  may  be 
summarized  as  follows : 


Mississippi  from  St.  Anthony's  Falls  to 
the  Gulf  of  Mexico 

Red  River  to  head  of  navigation 

Arkansas  to  Neosho  River 

White  River  to  Batesville 

St.  Francis  River 

Missouri  River 

Osage  River 300 

Kansas 300 

Other  tributaries '....  600 

Des  Moines 

St.  Peter's 



Its  tributaries — Tennessee 600 

Cumberland ., 300 

Wabash  300 

Green,  Kentucky,  and  Muskingum..  500 
Allegheny 400 

The  Illinois 

Rock  River,  Galena,  Wisconsin,  and  St. 











Making  the  total  river  navigation..  12,200 

At  Fort  Snelling  the  St.  Peter's,  or  Minnesota 
River  empties  into  the  Mississippi,  eight  hundred  and 
thirteen  miles  above  St.  Louis,  and  is  navigable  for 
sixty  miles.  By  the  River  and  Harbor  Act  of  1882 
the  Secretary  of  War  is  directed  to  cause  examina- 
tions and  surveys  to  be  made  of  "  the  source  of  this 
river,  near  the  foot  of  Big  Stone  Lake,  with  a  view 
to  its  being  added  to  the  reservoir  system  of  the 
Mississippi  and  its  tributaries."  The  St.  Croix 
River,  with  its  large  lumber  trade,  is  about  two 
hundred  miles  in  length,  and  enters  the  Mississippi 
at  a  point  seven  hundred  and  sixty-five  miles  above 

St.  Louis ;  the  chief  river  points  on  the  St.  Croix  are 
Hudson,  Stillwater,  Osceola,  and  St.  Croix  Falls.1 
The  Chippewa  River  empties  into  the  Mississippi 
six  hundred  and  eighty-six  miles  above  St.  Louis, 
near  the  end  of  Lake  Pepin,  upon  which  a  harbor  of 
refuge  at  Lake  City  is  to  be  constructed  under  the 
River  and  Harbor  Act  of  1882.  This  river  is  naviga- 
ble for  steamboats  about  seventy  miles,  and  upon  its 
surface  large  quantities  of  timber  are  annually  rafted 
to  St.  Louis ;  its  length  is  three  hundred  miles,  and 
its  chief  tributaries  are  the  Clearwater  and  Red 
Cedar  Rivers.  For  the  improvement  of  the  Chip- 
pewa River  thirty-five  thousand  dollars  was  appro- 
priated by  the  River  and  Harbor  Act  of  1882. 

The  Wisconsin  River  empties  into  the  Mississippi 
four  miles  below  Prairie  du  Chien,  and  five  hundred 
and  thirty-eight  miles  above  St.  Louis.  This  river  is 
navigable  for  steamboats  as  far  as  Portage,  where  the 
canal  connects  it  with  the  Fox  River,  which  flows 
into  Green  Bay,  and  connects  the  Mississippi  system 
with  the  lake  system  of  navigation.  The  length  of 
the  Wisconsin  is  six  hundred  miles,  and  it  receives 
the  waters  of  many  tributaries,  some  of  them  streams 
of  considerable  volume.  The  Fevre  River,  upon 
which  Galena  is  situated,  enters  the  Mississippi  a  few 
miles  below  Duluth,  and  is  navigable  a  part  of  the 
year  to  Galena.  The  Wapsipinicon  River,  at  a  point 
seven  miles  below  Camanche,  and  three  hundred  and 
eighty-three  miles  above  St.  Louis,  empties  into  the 
Mississippi.  Its  length  is  two  hundred  miles,  but  it 
is  not  navigable.  The  Rock  River,  rising  in  Fon  du 
Lac  County,  Wis.,  near  Lake  Winnebago,  flows  south- 
westerly, and  enters  the  Mississippi  River  two  miles 
below  Rock  Island,  at  a  point  three  hundred  and 
fifty-two  miles  above  St.  Louis.  Its  navigation  is 
dependent  upon  high  water,  and  extends  two  hundred 
and  twenty-five  miles. 

The  distances  on  Rock  River  from  Watertown  to 
the  Mississippi  are : 


From  Watertown  to  Jefferson 16 

To  Fort  Atkinson S 

Janesville 34 

Beloit 18 

Roscoe 8 

Rockford 12 


Oregon 10 

Dixon 20 

Sterling : 

Lyndon 16 

Prophetstown 2 

Camden 45 

Mississippi  River 1 

The  Iowa  River  takes  its  rise  in  Hancock  County, 
Iowa,  and  is  navigable  for  small  steamboats  in  the 
















1  Thirty    thousand  dollars  was  appropriated   by  the   River 
and  Harbor  Act  of  1882  for  improving  this  river. 



high-water  season  for  eighty  miles  from  its  mouth,  on 
the  Mississippi  River,  two  hundred  and  ninety-four 
miles  above  St.  Louis,  near  New  Boston.  Its  length 
is  about  three  hundred  miles,  and  its  course  south- 

The  Des  Moines  River,  rising  in  the  southern  part 
of  Minnesota,  flows  through  an  exceedingly  fertile 
and  productive  country  for  four  hundred  miles,  of 
which  two  hundred  are  navigable.  It  enters  the 
Mississippi  near  Alexandria,  Mo.,  about  two  hundred 
and  seven  miles  above  St.  Louis.  The  distances  upon 
this  river  are : 

Miles.  Total. 

From  Fort  Des  Moines  to  Dudley 14  14 

To  Lafayette 5  19 

Bennington 10  29 

Red  Rock 16  45 

Amsterdam 12  57 

Bellefontaine 12  69 

Auburn 12  81 

Des  Moines  City 8  89 

Eddyville 2  91 

Chillicothe 8  99 

Ottuinwa 12  111 

New  Market 20  131 

Portland 6  137 

Philadelphia 8  145 

Pittsburgh 7  152 

Pleasant  Hill 5  157 

Vernon 8  165 

Bonaparte 5  170 

Fnrmington 8  178 

Black  Hawk 3  181 

Croton 3  184    , 

Athens 5  189 

Belfast 6  195 

St.  Francisville 10  205 

Mississippi  River 15  220 

Quincy,  111.,  one  hundred  and  sixty-seven  miles 
above  St.  Louis,  on  the  Mississippi,  is  situated  in  one 
of  the  finest  agricultural  sections  of  the  country. 
Hannibal,  Mo.,  one  hundred  and  forty-seven  miles 
above  St.  Louis,  is  an  important  point  for  the  ship- 
ment of  pork,  hemp,  tobacco,  and  other  produce. 
Both  of  these  thriving  cities  are  important  centres  of 
the  trade  and  commerce  of  St.  Louis. 

The  Illinois  River  empties  into  the  Mississippi  at 
Grafton,  111.,  forty-three  miles  above  St.  Louis.  The 
Kankakee  and  Des  Plaines  Rivers  uniting  at  Dresden 
form  the  Illinois,  which,  receiving  the  waters  of  Ver- 
milion River,  then  becomes  navigable  for  steamboats 
during  a  part  of  the  year.  The  productiveness  of 
the  country  through  which  the  Illinois  flows  makes 
the  commerce  of  that  river  very  valuable.  The  dis- 
tances from  St.  Louis  to  trading-points  on  the  Illinois 
River  are  as  follows : 

Miles.  Total. 

To  Mason's  Landing 42  42 

Hurdin 25  67 

Columbians 10  77 

Apple  Creek 4 




Meredosia  , 































Wesley  City  






Spring  Bay  













La  Salle  




Monte/ uina 14 

Florence 6         103 

Griggsville 6         109 

Naples 4         113 

The  Missouri  River  unites  with  the  Mississippi 
twenty  miles  above  St.  Louis.  The  springs  in  the 
Rocky  Mountains  from  which  its  head-waters  flow 
are  not  more  than  a  mile  from  those  which  supply 
the  Columbia  River,  which  empties  into  the  Pacific 
Ocean.  The  Jefferson,  Gallatin,  and  Madison,  three 
small  streams,  unite  to  form  the  Missouri.  The 
"  Gates  of  the  Rocky  Mountains,"  which,  rising 
perpendicularly  from  the  water's  edge  to  the  height 
of  twelve  hundred  feet,  compress  the  river  into  a 
breadth  of  four  hundred  and  fifty  feet,  are  four 
hundred  and  forty-one  miles  from  the  extreme  point 
of  navigation  of  the  branches.  The  "  Great  Falls,"  a 
series  of  rapids,  having  a  fall  of  three  hundred  and 
fifty-one  feet  in  sixteen  miles,  are  one  hundred  and 
ten  miles  below  the  "  Gates."  These  falls  are  broken 
into  four  leaps,  of  which  the  first  in  the  descent  of 
the  river  is  twenty-six  feet ;  the  second,  forty-seven 
feet ;  the  third,  nineteen  feet ;  and  the  fourth,  ninety- 
eight  feet.  Below  the  falls  navigation  is  unobstructed 
by  any  permanent  barrier,  and  only  impeded  by  low 
waters  after  the  July  flood  has  passed  down.  The 
great  number  of  islands  and  sand-bars  that  have 
formed  in  the  river  render  the  channel  intricate  and 
difficult  for  navigation,  which,  with  the  numerous 
"snags,"  make  steamboating  extremely  hazardous. 
The  first  important  tributary,  the  Yellowstone,  is  as 
yet  not  of  any  material  importance  from  a  commercial 
point  of  view.  It  is  navigable  for  a  considerable  dis- 
tance by  the  steamboats  of  the  upper  Missouri,  and 
when  the  country  through  which  it  flows  shall  have 
been  settled  and  cultivated,  the  trade  of  the  Yellow- 
stone will  doubtless  become  very  valuable. 

The  Platte,  or  Nebraska  River  enters  the  Missouri 
seven  hundred  and  forty  miles  from  St.  Louis. 
Formed  by  its  North  and  South  Forks,  which  rise  in 
the  Rocky  Mountains,  the  Platte  flows  easterly  for 
two  thousand  miles,  but  is  shallow,  and,  except  in  the 
great  freshets  of  the  spring,  is  not  navigable. 



Sixteen  miles  above  Kansas  City  and  four  hundred 
and  seventy-three  from  St.  Louis,  the  Little  Platte 
from  Iowa  enters  the  Missouri.  It  is  two  hundred 
miles  in  length,  shallow,  and  not  of  much  importance 

One  of  the  largest  tributaries  of  the  Missouri  is  the 
Kansas,  which  enters  that  river  near  Kansas  City, 
four  hundred  and  fifty-nine  miles  from  St.  Louis. 
Rising  in  the  Rocky  Mountains,  and  flowing  east- 
ward through  the  rich  State  of  Kansas,  its  length  is 
twelve  hundred  miles,  nine  hundred  of  which,  with 
some  improvement,  might  be  made  navigable.  It  is 
one  thousand  feet  wide  at  its  mouth,  and  has  many 
tributaries,  of  which  Solomon's  Fork,  seven  hundred 
miles  long,  and  Smoky  Hill  Fork,  eight  hundred 
miles  long,  are  the  largest. 

Grand  River  enters  the  Missouri  three  hundred  and 
one  miles  from  St.  Louis.  It  is  two  hundred  and 
forty  miles  in  length,  and  navigable  one  hundred 
miles  between  the  Missouri  and  Madison,  Iowa. 

Five  miles  below  Cambridge,  Iowa,  and  two  hun- 
dred and  sixty-nine  above  St.  Louis,  the  Chariton 
River  from  Iowa  enters  the  Missouri.  It  is  navigable 
for  thirty  miles,  and  its  length  is  one  hundred  miles. 

Eight  miles  below  Arrow  Rock  and  two  hundred 
and  forty  miles  from  St.  Louis,  the  La  Mine  River 
enters  the  Missouri.  It  is  navigable  for  about  thirty 

The  Osage  River  is  about  five  hundred  miles  in 
length,  and  runs  through  a  very  fertile  and  productive 
country,  and  enters  the  Missouri  one  hundred  and 
sixty-nine  miles  from  St.  Louis.  It  is  navigable  for 
about  two  hundred  miles. 

The  Gasconade,  rising  in  Wright  County,  Mo., 
runs  nearly  two  hundred  miles,  and  empties  into  the 
Missouri  one  hundred  and  twenty-nine  miles  from  St. 
Louis.  It  is  important  only  as  supplying  water-power, 
and  is  not  navigable. 

The  distances  from  St.  Louis  to  points  on  the  Mis- 
souri River  are  as  follows : 

Miles.      Total. 

To  inouth  of  Missouri  River. 

Bellefontaine  Bend. 



St.  Charles 

Howard  Bend 

Bonhorame  Island.. 

Howell's  Ferry 


Port  Royal 

Tavern  Rock 

Mount  Albans 


Jones  Point 

Houth  Point 



Tuque  Point. 




St.  John's  Landing 2 


Miles.  Total. 

Newport  Landing 2  89 

Miller's  Landing 9  98 

Hermann 23  121 

Gasconade 8  129 

Portland 12  141 

St.Aubert's 10  151 

Shipley's 4  155 

Bonnot's  Mills 7  162 

Osage 2  164 

Moreau 5  169 

Jefferson  City 5  174 

Claysville 7  181 

Marion 10  191 

Martin's  Landing 7  198 

Nashville 7  205 

Mount  Vernon 7  212 

Rocheport 8  220 

Boonville ...  12  232 

La  Mine 8  240 

Arrow  Rock 8  248 

Glasgow 17  265 

Cambridge 9  274 

Brunswick 26  300 

Miami 15  315 

Waverly 31  346 

Dover  Landing 13  359 

Lexington 12  371 

Wellington 8  379 

Camden 10  389 

Napoleon 8  397 

Richfield 24  421 

Liberty 15  436 

Kansas  City 21  457 

Kansas  River 2  459 

Leavenworth 13  472 

Little  Platte 1  473 

Weston 33  506 

Atchison 15  521 

Doniphan 7  528 

Maysville 28  556 

Palermo 24  580 

St.  Joseph 11  591 

Nodaway 25  616 

Iowa  Point 30  646 

Brownsville 40  686 

NebraskaCity 30  716 

Plattsmouth 21  737 

Platte  River 3  740 

St.  Mary's 2  742 

Council  Bluffs 15  757 

Florence 10  767 

Fort  Calhoun 10  777 

DeRoto 15  792 

Tekama 30  822 

Sioux  City 60  882 

Yellowstone  River 1075  1957 

Great  Falls 675  2632 

Rocky  Mountain  Gates 110  2742 

The  Ohio,  which  enters  the  Mississippi  at  Cairo, 
one  hundred  and  seventy-four  miles  below  St.  Louis, 
is  formed  at  Pittsburgh,  one  thousand  and  nineteen 
miles  from  Cairo,  by  the  junction  of  the  Allegheny 
and  Youghiogheny.  The  Allegheny,  which  is  the 
proper  continuation  of  the  Ohio,  rises  on  the  borders 
of  Lake  Erie,  where  its  tributaries  terminate  in 
Lake  Chautauqua,  one  thousand  three  hundred  feet 
above  the  level  of  the  sea,  and  seven  hundred  feet 
above  the  level  of  Lake  Erie.  A  boat  may  start 
from  these  sources,  within  seven  miles  of  Lake  Erie, 
in  sight  sometimes  of  the  sails  which  whiten  the  ap- 
proach to  the  harbor  of  Buffalo,  and  float  securely 
down  the  Conewango  or  Cassadaga  to  the  Allegheny, 
down  that  river  to  the  Ohio,  and  thence  uninterrupt- 



edly  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico.  In  all  this  distance  of 
two  thousand  four  hundred  miles  the  descent  is  so 
uniform  and  gentle,  so  little  accelerated  by  rapids, 
that  when  there  is  sufficient  water  to  float  the  vessel, 
and  sufficient  power  to  govern  it,  the  downward  voy- 
age may  be  performed  without  difficulty  or  danger  in 
the  channels  as  they  were  formed  by  nature.  Steam- 
boats have  ascended  the  Allegheny  to  Olean  Point, 
two  thousand  three  hundred  miles  from  the  mouth  of 
the  Mississippi,  and  two  hundred  and  fifty  miles 
above  Pittsburgh.  From  the  junction  of  the  two  prin- 
cipal tributaries  of  the  Ohio  at  Pittsburgh,  to  Point 
Pleasant,  where  the  Great  Kanawha  River  from  West 
Virginia  enters  the  Ohio,  there  are  only  small  and  un- 
important streams  entering  the  Ohio.  Point  Pleasant 
is  distant  from  St.  Louis  nine  hundred  and  forty-two 
miles.  The  Great  Kanawha  is  navigable  for  small 
boats,  and  the  products  of  salt,  coal,  and  iron  which 
in  great  quantities  are  sent  down  that  river  find  at 
St.  Louis  a  market.  The  salt  manufactures  along 
the  Great  Kanawha  amount  to  eight  million  bushels 

Improvement  of  the  Mississippi  and  Tribu- 
taries.— Prior  to  the  construction  of  the  New  York 
and  Canadian  canals,  and  the  opening  of  railways  be- 
tween the  Western  and  Eastern  States,  the  Missis- 
sippi River  and  its  navigable  tributaries  were  the  only 
highways  of  commerce  between  the  vast  territory 
embracing  the  Western  States  and  the  other  States  of 
the  Union.  The  closing  of  the  mouth  of  the  Missis- 
sippi during  the  civil  war,  the  general  paralysis  of 
Southern  industry  and  trade  incident  to  that  war,  and 
the  increase  in  the  size  of  ocean  vessels  turned  the 
current  of  commerce  from  the  southern  to  the  eastern 
route,  and  from  the  bosom  of  the  Mississippi  to  the 
canals  and  railways  that  led  to  Northern  Atlantic 
cities.  This  deflection  of  the  commerce  of  the  Western 
States  from  the  southern  to  the  northern  routes  dim- 
inished, without  destroying,  the  value  of  the  Missis- 
sippi River  as  a  great  commercial  highway.  The 
relative  economy  of  water  over  rail  transportation  for 
heavy  freights,  and  the  failure  of  the  railways  to  sup- 
ply sufficient  cheap  transportation  to  meet  the  demands 
of  a  rapidly  increasing  commerce  between  the  great 
central  basin  of  this  continent  and  the  markets  of 
the  world,  created  that  public  sentiment,  to  which 
Congress  has  within  a  few  years  past  responded,  for 
the  improvement  of  the  navigation  of  the  Mississippi 
and  its  tributaries.  Previous  to  the  public  recogni- 
tion of  the  vast  importance  of  this  national  under- 
taking, the  prevention  of  "  inundations  of  the  delta 
of  the  Mississippi"  had  attracted  attention,  together 
with  the  practicability  and  cost  of  improving  the 

navigation  of  Western  rivers,  as  incidental  rather 
than  primary  reasons  for  those  improvements.  The 
memoir  of  Charles  Ellet,  Jr.,1  was  prepared  under 
the  authority  of  an  act  of  Congress  directing  the 
Secretary  of  War  to  institute  such  surveys  and  in- 
vestigations as  were  necessary  to  the  preparation  of 
adequate  plans  for  protecting  the  delta  from  inunda- 
tions, and  increasing  the  depth  of  water  on  the  bars 
at  the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi.  Mr.  Ellet,  though 

j  not  an  officer  of  the  government  or  in  the  employ  of 
the  War  Department,  was  called  to  this  important 
duty,  and  authorized  to  make  such  investigations 
as  would  enable  him  to  devise  and  report  suitable 
plans  for  the  protection  of  the  delta  from  inunda- 
tions by  overflows. 

As-  early  as  1841  the  attention  of  Congress  was 
called  to  the  condition  of  the  Mississippi  above  the 
mouth  of  the  Ohio.  From  1836  to  1841  it  was  said 
that  more  property  had  been  destroyed  from  the 
mouth  of  the  Ohio  to  St.  Louis  by  snags  than  on  all 
the  other  parts  of  the  river  and  its  tributaries.2  Not- 
withstanding the  general  government  had  provided 

;  snag-boats  for  the  lower  river,  the  manifest  neglect  of 
the  Western  rivers  was  entailing  an  annual  loss  of 
millions  of  dollars  upon  the  commerce  of  the  West, 
owing  to  the  dangerous  and  destructive  condition  of 
the  then  only  commercial  highway  for  that  great  sec- 
tion of  the  country.  A  theory  of  constitutional  con- 
struction intervened  to  obstruct  the  work  of  improve- 
ment, which  became  so  obviously  absurd  that  to  avoid 
its  inconveniences  Mr.  Calhoun  designated  the  Missis- 
sippi River  as  an  "  inland  sea,"  to  the  improvement 
of  which  the  powers  of  the  general  government 
might  be  applied.  Notwithstanding  the  vast  extent 
and  wonderful  fertility  of  the  country  which  those 
rivers  drain,  the  nature,  variety,  and  location  of  the 
products  seeking  transportation,  and  the  almost  incal- 
culable commerce  which  demanded  the  facilities  of 
easy  and  safe  movement,  their  navigation  was  left  un- 
improved until  the  competition  of  the  railroads  gave 
weight  and  influence  to  the  demands  of  an  injured 

In  1870,  Congress,  in  addition  to  the  usual  appro- 
priation for  river  improvements  and  surveys,  made  an 

1  "  The  Mississippi  and  Ohio  Rivers :  containing  plans  for  the 
protection  of  the  delta  from  inundations;  and   investigations 
of  the  practicability  and  cost  of  improving  the  navigation  of 
the  Ohio  and  other  rivers  by  means  of  reservoirs,  with  appendix 
on  the  bars  at  the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi,  by  Charles  Ellet, 
Jr.,  Civil  Engineer." 

2  John  A.  Scudder,  before  the  Senate  Committee  on  Transpor- 
tation Routes  to  the  Seaboard,  in  1 873,  said,  "  I  suppose  there  are 
five  thousand  wrecks  between  this  (St.  Louis)  and  Cairo  alone. 
I  speak  now  of  all  the  boats  that  are  sunk."     P.  615. 



allowance  of  funds  for  the  survey  and  examination  of 
various  small  streams  tributary  to  the  Mississippi  and 
its  great  branches.  Among  the  streams  to  be  exam- 
ined were  the  Cuivre  River  in  Missouri,  the  Current 
River  in  Missouri,  Black  River,  Missouri  and  Ark- 
ansas, White  River,  flowing  through  the  same  States, 
the  Fourche  la  Faire  in  Arkansas,  and  Bayou  Bar- 
tholomew in  Louisiana.  The  surveys  of  these  rivers 
were  made  by  Brevet  Maj.  Charles  J.  Allen,  Engi- 
neer Corps,  who  in  that  year  reported  to  Gen.  William 
T.  Reynolds,  U.  S.  Engineer  Corps,  in  charge  of 
Western  rivers  at  St.  Louis.  In  addition  to  the  ex- 
amination of  these  rivers,  the  same  Congress  which 
authorized  this  work  ordered  a  complete  survey  of  the 
Ouachita  River  from  Trinity,  La.,  to  Camden,  Ark., 
a  distance  of  three  hundred  miles.  This  survey  was 
made  in  order  to  ascertain  the  practicability  of  im- 
proving navigation  on  that  stream  by  the  construction 
of  locks  and  dams. 

The  opening  up  of  the  Little  Missouri  River  for 
the  navigation  of  light-draught  steamboats,  a  work  of 
immense  value  to  all  that  section  of  country  adjacent 
to  its  waters,  as  well  as  to  the  general  interests  of 
Western  commerce,  was  accomplished  that  year.  The 
country  through  which  it  flows  is  a  very  productive 
region,  but  the  fact  that  it  was  in  a  measure  cut  off 
from  markets  prevented  its  development.  Cotton, 
the  chief  product  of  this  rich  region,  had  to  be  hauled 
on  wagons  a  distance  of  one  hundred  miles,  which 
placed  an  embargo  on  its  production. 

The  work,  however,  accomplished  by  Maj.  Allen, 
in  which  St.  Louis  is  most  deeply  interested,  was  his 
thorough  and  complete  survey  of  that  portion  of  the 
Mississippi  River  extending  from  the  mouth  of  the 
Missouri  to  the  mouth  of  the  Maramec,  which  in- 
cludes the  harbor  of  St.  Louis.  A  careful  examina- 
tion of  the  bars,  chutes,  and  bank  abrasions  was  made, 
and  the  particular  force  of  the  current  in  certain 
localities  was  ascertained. 

During  the  season  of  1871,1  Gen.  Reynolds  re- 

1  The  snag-boat  fleet  in  1871  under  the  command  of  Gen. 
Reynolds  was  composed  of  the  "Thayer,"  the  "Octavia,"  the 
"S.  H.  Long,"  the  "  R.  E.  DeRussey,"  and  the  "  J.  J.  Abert." 
The  "  Thayer"  operated  in  the  Missouri,  between  St.  Joseph 
and  Omaha,  from  the  time  the  river  opened  until  the  close  of 
September,  when  she  was  sent  to  the  upper  White,  Black,  and 
Little  Red  Rivers. 

The  "  R.  E.  DeRussey"  operated  in  the  Missouri,  between 
Kansas  City  and  St.  Joseph,  from  early  in  the  season  until  the 
1st  of  September. 

After  her  arrival  at  St.  Louis  she  was  loaned  to  the  city  au- 
thorities to  remove  obstructions  in  the  harbor,  the  city  paying 
all  her  expenses.  This  was  a  benefit  to  the  city  and  no  loss  to 
the  general  commerce,  for  the  reason  that  the  appropriation  was 
not  enough  to  keep  the  boats  at  work  until  the  1st  of  July. 

moved  over  four  thousand  snags,  roots  and  all,  from 
the  streams,  as  well  as  "  rack  heaps"  destroyed  and 
wrecks  removed,  and  thousands  of  trees  cut  to  pre- 
vent their  becoming  snags,  and  aid  given  to  vessels 
aground  or  in  distress,  which  was  always  rendered 
when  possible  and  never  charged  for. 

In  the  upper  Ouachita  and  Little  Missouri,  where 
snag-boats  could  not  go,  flat-boats  drawing  not  over 
ten  inches  of  water  were  set  at  work  "  cutting"  snags 
which  their  light  power  could  not  pull  out.  The 
work  was  done  under  the  superintendence  of  experi- 
enced pilots  of  those  streams,  and  at  a  low  stage  of 
water.  This  was  the  only  cutting  that  was  done,  ex- 
cepting in  the  case  of  chutes,  in  two  or  three  cases, 
when  they  were  so  low  that  the  yawl  only  could  go 
through.  This  method  was  adopted  to  render  the 
chute  available  when  a  rise  should  come. 

Under  the  law  of  Congress  2  allowing  the  employ- 
ment of  civil  engineers  for  the  purpose  of  executing 
the  surveys  and  improvements  of  Western  and  North- 
western rivers,  much  work  has  been  done  on  the  nav- 
igable waters  of  the  Mississippi  valley. 

In  1845  the  Memphis  Convention,  for  the  purpose 
of  bringing  the  condition  of  navigation  on  Western 
rivers  to  the  attention  of  Congress,  was  held.  John 

The  "  Long"  operated  in  the  Missouri,  from  Kansas  City  to- 
Hermann,  until  about  the  1st  of  September,  when  she  was  with- 
drawn. After  she  reached  the  Mississippi  she  worked  a  few 
days  in  the  St.  Louis  harbor,  and  on  the  1st  of  November  was 
ordered  below,  between  Memphis  and  the  mouth  of  the  Ar- 

The  "  J.  J.  Abert"  worked  in  the  Missouri,  below  St.  Aubert, 
until  the  middle  of  August,  when  she  came  into  the  Mississippi, 
and  worked  between  the  mouth  of  the  Missouri  and  Memphis. 

The  "Octavia"  was  employed  the  entire  season  between 
Keokuk  and  Cairo,  endeavoring  to  keep  a  good  depth  of  water 
between  these  points,  until  it  was  necessary  to  send  her  into 
the  Missouri  to  help  the  "DeRussey"  and  "Abert"  out  of  that 

The  work  of  the  "  Octavia"  was  of  great  service  between  St. 
Louis  and  Keokuk,  but  owing  to  the  nature  of  the  river  from 
St.  Louis  to  Cairo  the  benefit  was  not  so  great.  Channels  across 
the  worst  bars  were  cut  several  times  during  the  season,  but 
they  soon  filled  up. 

The  amount  available  for  running  and  operating  the  dredge 
and  snag-boats  after  using  enough  for  repairs  was  only  one  hun- 
dred and  fifty  thousand  dollars.  With  this  they  were  run  about 
nine  months  each,  which,  as  there  were  five  boats  in  all,  was  an 
average  cost  of  about  three  thousand  four  hundred  dollars  per 
month,  or  less  than  one  hundred  and  twenty  dollars  per  day. 

The  Missouri  from  Omaha  to  the  mouth,  the  Mississippi  from 
Keokuk  to  Vicksburg,  the  Arkansas  from  its  mouth  probably 
to  Little  Rock,  the  Ouachita  from  its  mouth  to  (.'anxlen,  the 
White  from  its  mouth  to  Jacksonport,  the  Little  Red,  Black, 
ami  St.  Francis  Rivers  from  their  mouths  as  far  up  as  the  boats 
can  go  well,  were  all  passed  over  by  the  snag-boats  at  least 
twice,  and  the  greater  part  of  the  distance  four  or  more  times 
during  that  season. 

»  March  29,  1867:  Rev.  Stat.,  Sec.  5253. 



C.  Calhoun  presided,  and  was  made  chairman  of  the 
committee  to  memorialize  Congress.  In  that  memo- 
rial Mr.  Calhoun  took  the  broadest  ground  in  favor 
of  the  improvements  being  made  by  the  Federal  gov- 
ernment without  regard  to  their  cost. 

A  convention  was  held  in  Chicago  July  4,  1847, 
to  consider  the  subject  of  the  improvement  of  the 
Mississippi  River  and  its  principal  tributaries,  to 
which  delegates  from  St.  Louis  were  appointed. 

These  delegates  prepared  an  able  report  upon  the 
subject,  which  was  published  in  pamphlet  form,1  from 
which  it  appears  that  there  were  1190  steamboats 
and  4000  keel-  and  flat-boats  engaged  in  the  commerce 
of  Western  rivers,  employing  61,650  persons,  the  cost 
of  which  is  set  at  $16,188,561,  and  the  running  ex- 
penses at  $32,725,000.  The  cost  of  river  transporta- 
tion was  summed  up  as  follows  : 

Cost  of  running  1190  steamboats $32,725,000 

Insurance,  at  12  percent 1,942,627 

Interest,at  6  percent 971,313 

Wear  and  tear,  at  24  per  cent 3,885,254 

Tolls  on  Louisville  and  Portland  Canal  250,000 
Cost  of  flat-boats  (included  because 

sacrificed  at  New  Orleans) 1,380,000 

Total  cost  of  transportation $41,154,194 

This  vast  sum  was  an  annual  "  tax  upon  the  surplus 
produce,  enterprise,  industry,  and  trade  of  the  coun- 
try." The  aggregate  annual  tonnage  transported  was 
set  at  10,126,160  tons;  and  the  "grand  aggregate  value 
of  commerce  afloat  upon  the  navigable  waters  of  the 
valley  of  the  Mississippi"  was  estimated  by  this  com- 
mittee at  $432,621,240,  "being  nearly  double  the 
amount  of  the  whole  foreign  commerce  of  the  United 
States."  Taking  into  consideration  the  loss  of  steam- 
boats and  cargoes,  the  committee  regarded  it  as  not 
"  too  high  an  estimate  to  put  down  the  actual  losses 
at  two  millions  of  dollars  per  annum.  This  is  anni- 
hilated,— so  much  destroyed  of  the  wealth  of  the 
country, — amounting  every  ten  years  to  a  sum  equal 
to  the  purchase-money  paid  by  the  government  for  all 

This  was  the  era  in  Federal  politics  when  the  au- 
thority of  the  general  government  to  undertake  works 
of  internal  improvement  was  denied  by  a  powerful 
and  often  successful  party.  It  was  also  a  time  when 
the  discipline  of  party  was  stronger  and  more  binding 
than  the  interests  of  States  and  sections.  That  theory 
as  well  as  discipline  may  be  said  to  have  departed 

1  "  The  Commerce  and  Navigation  of  the  Valley  of  the  Missis- 
sippi, and  also  that  appertaining  to  the  city  of  St.  Louis,  con- 
sidered with  reference  to  the  improvement  by  the  general  gov- 
ernment of  the  Mississippi  and  its  principal  tributaries,  being 
a  report  prepared  by  authority  of  the  delegates  from  the  city 
of  St.  Louis  for  the  use  of  the  Chicago  Convention  of  July  5, 

forever  from  the  politics  of  the  country,  since  the 
River  and  Harbor  bill  of  1882  appropriated  nearly 
$20,000,000  for  the  improvement  of  the  rivers  and 
harbors  of  the  country,  of  which  $4,123,000  was  for 
the  Mississippi  River.  Up  to  1873  the  United  States 
government  had  expended  for  the  improvement  of 
rivers  and  harbors  on 

The  Atlanticcoast $9,587,173 

The  Gulf  coast 579,706 

The  Pacific  coast 638,003 

The  Northern  lakes 10,437,158 

The  Western  rivers 11,438,300 

Total $32,680,340 

Above  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony  to  Leech  Lake,  a 
distance  of  six  hundred  and  seventy-five  miles,  the 
Mississippi  may  be  navigated  in  certain  conditions 
of  the  rainfall.  A  reconnoissance  of  this  part  of  the 
river  was  made  in  1869  by  Francis  Cook,  civil  engi- 
neer, under  the  direction  of  Gen.  G.  K.  Warren,  of  the 
United  States  Engineer  Corps.  In  his  report  of  Jan. 
22,  1870,2  Mr.  Cook  presents  much  valuable  informa- 
tion in  regard  to  the  improvement  of  the  upper  Mis- 
sissippi, and  revives  the  "  reservoir"  plan  of  Mr.  Ellet 
for  supplying  the  river  both  above  and  below  the 
Falls  of  St.  Anthony  during  dry  seasons.  A  lockage 
at  Sauk  Rapids  of  eighteen  feet  will  connect  the  reaches 
of  the  river  and  extend  the  navigation  to  Little  Falls, 
where  a  lockage  of  fourteen  feet  will  form  a  connec- 
tion with  another  navigable  reach  extending  to  the 
mouth  of  Pine  River,  where  the  removal  of  bowlders 
and  the  opening  of  cut-ofis  will  extend  navigation  to 
Pokegama  Falls.  At  that  point  a  lockage  of  thirty 
feet  will  open  the  navigable  waters  above  to  Lake  Leech 
and  Winnebagoshish  Lake.  Thus  continuous  naviga- 
tion will  be  had  for  six  hundred  and  seventy-five  miles 
above  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony.  The  natural  reser- 
voirs that  would  supply  the  Mississippi  River,  both 
above  and  below  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony,  during 
the  seasons  of  low  water  are  to  be  formed  by  con- 
structing a  dam  at  Pokegama  Falls,  by  which  a  supply 
of  37,057,638,400  cubic  feet  of  water  could  be  ob- 
tained, and  a  dam  raising  Lake  Mille  Lacs  two  feet 
would  increase  that  amount  10,036,224,000  cubic  feet. 
The  estimated  cost  of  these  reservoirs  was  one  hun- 
dred and  fourteen  thousand  dollars,  and  they  would 
supply  to  the  upper  Mississippi  a  permanent  depth  of 
from  four  and  a  half  to  five  feet  during  the  entire 
season.  In  a  report  to  the  War  Department,  Dec.  22, 
1873,3  Maj.  F.  W.  Farquhar,  of  the  United  States 
Engineer  Corps,  recommended  that  a  complete  survey 
be  made  of  the  navigable  portions  of  the  Mississippi 

*  K.\.  Doc.  285,  Forty-first  Congress,  Second  Session. 
3  Ex.  Doc.  145,  Forty-third  Congress,  First  Session. 



River  above  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony,  and  urged  the 
further  improvement  of  the  river  between  St.  Anthony 
and  St.  Cloud.  These  improvements  have  all  been 
undertaken  by  the  general  government,  and  for  con- 
tinuing operations  on  the  reservoirs  at  the  head-waters 
of  the  Mississippi,  Congress  appropriated,  Aug.  2,  i 
1882,1  three  hundred  thousand  dollars.  By  the  same 
act  twenty-five  thousand  dollars  was  appropriated  for 
the  removal  of  snags,  ten  thousand  dollars  for  contin- 
uing the  improvement  of  the  Mississippi  River  above 
the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony,  and  twenty-five  thousand 
dollars  for  improving  the  falls. 

Upon  the  Mississippi  between  St.  Paul  and  St. 
Louis  two  dredge-boats  have  been  employed  since 
1867,  operating  chiefly  upon  sand-bars,  removing 
snags  and  overhanging  trees.  The  Rock  Island 
Rapids2  have  been  improved  by  excavating  a  chan- 
nel so  as  to  give  a  width  of  two  hundred  feet  and  a 
navigable  depth  of  four  feet  at  extreme  low  water,  | 
and  a  canal  6.7  miles  in  length  was  constructed  at 
Keokuk  Rapids.  This  canal  is  from  two  hundred  and 
fifty  to  three  hundred  feet  in  width,  with  a  minimum 
depth  of  five  feet.  The  act  of  Aug.  2,  1882,8  appro- 
priated two  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  dollars  for  con- 
tinuing the  improvement  of  the  Mississippi  River  from 
St.  Paul  to  Des  Moines  Rapids,  and  thirty  thousand 
dollars  for  the  construction  of  a  dry-dock  at  the  Des 
Moines  Rapids  Canal,  and  thirty  thousand  dollars  for 
improving  Des  Moines  Rapids  Canal.  "  The  widening 
of  the  channel  at  Rock  Island,"  4  said  a  committee  of 
St.  Louis  business  men  in  a  letter  to  a  committee  of 
Congress,  "  the  completion  of  the  canal  at  Des  Moines, 
the  construction  of  the  wing-dams  before  alluded  to, 
the  removal  of  wrecks  and  snags,  and  the  construction 
of  the  Fort  St.  Philip  Canal  would,  we  believe,  result 
in  the  utilizing  of  this  great  waterway  from  St.  Paul 
to  New  Orleans,  and  reduce  the  cost  of  transportation 
to  a  uniform  cost  not  exceeding  the  lowest  average 
as  shown  by  the  tables  of  freight  accompanying  this 
report.  In  the  opinion  of  this  committee,  the  removal 
of  wrecks  and  snags  between  St.  Louis  and  New  Or- 

1  River  and  Harbor  Bill. 

1  In  .1836,  Lieut.  R.  E.  Lee  was  in  charge  of  the  improve- 
ments, and  continued  work  thereon  until  1839.  No  appropria- 
tion was  made  from  1839  to  1852,  when,  under  an  appropriation 
by  Congress,  the  work  was  intrusted  to  Lieut.  Warren,  of  the 
topographical  engineers.  In  1856,  Maj.  Floyd  was  put  in 
charge  of  the  work,  and  since  then  it  has  been  prosecuted  under 
the  supervision  of  engineers  of  the  United  States. 

s  River  and  Harbor  Bill. 

*  Letter  signed  E.  0.  Stanard,  chairman,  Erastus  Wells,  W. 
H.  Stone,  Lewis  V.  Bogy,  R.  P.  Tausey,  Webster  M.  Samuel, 
George  Bain,  H.  C.  Haarstick,  Isaac  M.  Mason.  Myron  Coloney, 
George  H.  Morgan,  in  report  of  Transportation  Committee,  page 

leans  is  of  vital  importance  to  the  commerce  of  the 
river.  Wrecks  between  St.  Louis  and  Cairo,  sunken 
many  years  ago  and  forgotten,  are  so  numerous  that, 
from  the  extra  hazard  they  present,  our  rate  of  insur- 
ance is  not  only  increased  upon  boat  hulls  and  cargoes, 
but  steamers  with  thin  hulls  and  light  draught  are  re- 
fused insurance  at  any  rate.  It  is  necessary,  there- 
fore, to  construct  much  stronger  and  more  expensive 
hulls,  and  necessarily  of  deeper  draught,  than  would 
be  acceptable  to  underwriters  were  these  wrecks  and 
snags  removed."  The  opinions  of  these  leading  com- 
mercial men,  as  well  as  the  reports  of  engineers,  at 
length  created  so  strong  a  public  sentiment  in  regard 
to  the  improvement  of  the  Mississippi  River  that  Con- 
gress, by  the  act  of  June  18,  1879,  created  the  Mis- 
sissippi River  Commission,  to  examine  and  report 
such  plans,  specifications,  and  estimates  as  would  ren- 
der the  river,  when  the  work  was  completed,  fully  equal 
to  the  demands  of  commerce.  For  the  commence- 
ment of  this  great  work  there  was  appropriated  by 
the  act  of  August,  1882,  the  sum  of  $4,123,000  for 
the  improvement  of  the  Mississippi  River  "  from 
the  head  of  the  Passes  to  Cairo,"  and  $600,000  for 
improving  the  river  "  from  Cairo  to  the  Des  Moines 
Rapids."  The  estimates  of  the  cost  of  the  various  im- 
provements of  the  Mississippi  and  its  tributaries, 
made  by  the  Merchants'  Exchange  of  St.  Louis, 
amounted  to  $16,010,000,  and  are  supposed  to  cover 
the  entire  cost  of  the  radical  improvements  of  these 
rivers,  with  the  exception  of  the  Ohio. 

The  improvement  of  the  latter  river  so  as  to  secure 
a  uniform  depth  of  six  feet  at  low  water  from  Pitts- 
burgh to  Cairo  has  long  been  recognized  as  being 
demanded  by  the  vast  interests  that  line  the  banks  of 
that  mighty  stream.  The  length  of  the  river  between 
those  points  is  nine  hundred  and  twenty-seven  miles. 
Six  States  border  upon  it,  viz. :  Pennsylvania,  West 
Virginia,  Ohio,  Kentucky,  Indiana,  and  Illinois,  and 
the  territory  drained  by  it  embraces  214,000  square 
miles.  W.  Milnor  Roberts,  in  1868,  estimated  the 
value  of  the  commerce  of  the  cities  and  towns  on  the 
river  at  $1,623,000,000.  The  coal  and  other  mineral 
interests  are  of  immense  value  and  importance.  The 
coal  area  embraces  a  territory  of  122,000  square 
miles,  and  the  shipments  of  coal  by  the  river  in  1873 
amounted  to  60,000,000  bushels,  or  2,300,000  tons. 
Almost  all  the  coal  consumed  in  the  cities,  towns, 
and  country  bordering  on  the  Mississippi  River  and 
its  navigable  tributaries  below  St.  Louis,  consumed 
by  steamers  on  the  Mississippi  River,  and  to  a  great 
extent  by  ocean-steamers  from  New  Orleans,  is  shipped 
on  the  Ohio  River.  During  a  single  rise  in  that  river 
forty-six  fleets,  composed  of  three  hundred  and  sixty- 



nine  barges,  and  carrying  4,156,000  bushels  of  coal, 
started  from  Pittsburgh  within  three  days. 

A  board  of  commissioners  for  the  improvement  of 
the  Ohio  River  was  created  in  1872  by  the  joint 
action  of  the  States  of  Pennsylvania,  Ohio,  West 
Virginia,  Kentucky,  Tennessee,  Indiana,  and  Illinois, 
which  presented  a  memorial  to  Congress  Dec.  16, 
1872,  asking  the  general  government  to  undertake 
the  work,  which  was  stated  to  be  "  not  one  of  en- 
gineering but  of  finance."  The  difficulty  which  em-  ' 
barrasses  the  navigation  of  the  Ohio  arises  from  a 
descent  of  four  hundred  and  twenty-six  feet  between 
Pittsburgh  and  Cairo,  in  consequence  of  which  the 
current  varies  from  one  and  a  half  to  three  and  a  half 
miles  per  hour.  In  1870,  W.  Milnor  Roberts,  United 
States  engineer,  suggested  a  plan  of  improvement,  the 
estimated  cost  of  which  was  twenty-three  million 
seven  hundred  and  seventy-seven  thousand  six  hun- 
dred and  sixty-two  dollars,  and  Gen.  G.  Weitzel,  major 
of  engineers,  and  W.  E.  Merrill,  major  of  engineers, 
as  a  board  of  commissioners,  appointed  by  the  War 
Department  April  16,  1872,  reported  a  plan  of  im- 
provement Jan.  31,  1874.1  With  the  exception  of 
the  purchase  of  the  Louisville  and  Portland  Canal 
around  the  falls  of  the  Ohio  and  making  the  same 
free,  very  little  of  any  importance  and  nothing  of  any 
permanent  value  has  been  done  towards  the  improve- 
ment of  the  Ohio  River  by  the  Federal  government. 

The  improvement  of  the  Illinois  River  was  begun  as 
early  as  1836  with  the  construction  of  the  Illinois  and 
Michigan  Canal,  which  was  to  extend  from  Chicago  to 
the  Illinois  River  at  La  Salle,  a  distance  of  about  one 
hundred  miles,  but  in  the  general  financial  crash  of 
1837  the  work  was  suspended.  The  bonds  issued  for  • 
the  construction  of  the  canal  were  owned  principally  in  j 
England.  In  1844  a  proposition  was  made  to  the  Eng- 
lish bondholders  that  if  they  would  advance  sixteen 
hundred  thousand  dollars  for  the  completion  of  the  i 
canal  it  should  pass  into  their  hands,  and  its  revenue  i 
go,  with  what  lands2  the  State  owned, — the  avails  of 
the  bonds  being  paid  into  the  canal  funds  to  reimburse 
the  State, — to  pay  the  bonds,  interest  and  principal. 
In  accordance  with  this  suggestion  the  English  bond- 
holders appointed  two  trustees  and  the  State  one, 
under  whose  control  the  work  remained  until  May  1, 
1872.  The  original  plan  of  building  the  canal  was 
to  give  it  an  incline  from  the  Chicago  River  to  the 
Des  Plaines  River  at  Lockport,  and  then  supply  a 
portion  of  the  water  by  pumping-works  at  Bridge- 
port, at  the  commencement  of  the  canal.  The  city  of 

1  Ex.  Doc.  No.  127,  Forty-third  Congress,  First  Session. 
*  Lands  donated  in  1S31  by  United  States  along  the  canal. 

Chicago,  under  authority  from  the  State,  removed  the 
"bench,"  or  summit  level,  thus  securing  a  constant 
flow  of  water  from  the  Chicago  River  to  Lockport. 
A  distance  of  twenty-seven  miles  was  thus  deepened 
to  eight  feet,  at  a  cost  of  about  three  millions  of 
dollars.  The  original  design  of  this  canal  was  to 
connect  the  navigable  waters  of  the  Illinois  River 
with  Lake  Michigan.  The  tolls  and  revenues  of  the 
canal  were  never  sufficient  to  pay  even  the  interest  on 
the  bonds,  owing  to  the  fact  that  the  Illinois  River 
of  late  years  has  had  less  water  in  it  than  when  the 
canal  was  projected.  Though  the  improvement  of  the 
Illinois  River  had  been  urged  upon  Congress  tor  many 
years,  it  was  not  until  about  1865  that  an  appropriation 
of  eighty-five  thousand  dollars  was  made  for  that  work, 
but  very  little  was  done  under  that  appropriation,  the 
money  being  diverted  by  the  Secretary  of  War  to  the 
improvement  of  the  Rock  Island  Rapids.  In  1869  the 
Legislature  of  Illinois  appropriated  four  hundred  and 
fifty  thousand  dollars  for  the  work,  and  in  the  same  year 
Congress  appropriated  two  millions  for  Western  rivers, 
of  which  sum  eighty-five  thousand  dollars  was  ex- 
pended on  this  river.  In  1870,  Congress  appropriated 
one  hundred  thousand  dollars  for  the  work.  In  1873 
the  estimated  cost  of  its  completion  was  two  million  two 
hundred  thousand  dollars,  and  by  the  River  and  Harbor 
bill  of  1882  there  was  appropriated  one  hundred  and 
seventy-five  thousand  dollars  for  continuing  the  work, 
which  is  now  being  carried  on  by  the  general  govern- 
ment. In  addition,  the  further  improvement  of  the 
navigation  of  the  Illinois  River  is  contemplated  by 
the  construction  of  the  Hennepin  Canal  from  Henne- 
pin  to  Rock  Island.  The  estimated  cost  of  this  work 
is  four  million  five  hundred  thousand  dollars,3  for 
which  the  River  and  Harbor  bill  of  1882  appropri- 
ated the  sum  of  thirty  thousand  dollars,  with,  how- 
ever, the  proviso  "  that  nothing  herein  shall  be  con- 
strued to  commit  the  government  to  proceed  with  the 
construction  of  the  said  improvement."  The  im- 
provements of  this  river  now  completed  and  in  con- 
templation will  form  with  the  Hennepin  Canal  a  con- 
tinuous line  of  canal  and  slack-water  navigation  from 
Chicago  to  the  Mississippi  River,  as  follows : 

Illinois  and  Michigan  Canal,  Chicago  to  La  Salle...      96  miles. 
Slack  water,  Illinois  River,  La  Salle  to  Hennepin...      19     ' 
Hennepin  Canal,  Illinois  to  Mississippi  River 65     ' 

Total 180     « 

The  improvements  of  the  upper  Mississippi  now 
in  progress  will,  when  completed,  afford  seven  hundred 
and  sixty-one  miles  of  continuous  navigation  between 

s  Mr.  Utley,  of  the  Board  of  Canal  Commissioners  of  Illinois  : 
Transportation  Report,  p.  L':>J. 



St.  Louis  and  St.  Paul  for  barges,  which  can  pass 
through  the  Hennepin  and  the  Illinois  and  Michigan 
Canals  to  the  city  of  Chicago,  thus  affording  compe- 
tition with  ail  railroad  lines  which  cross  the  Missis- 
sippi River  between  St.  Paul  and  St.  Louis. 

Beyond  the  removal  of  the  snags  by  the  govern- 
ment snag-boats,  nothing  has  been  done  for  the  im- 
provement of  the  navigation  of  the  Missouri  River. 
The  Missouri  River  Improvement  Association  in  1881 
addressed  a  memorial  to  Congress  upon  the  sub- 
ject, but  it  is  conspicuous  by  its  absence  from  the 
bulky  volume  of  the  River  and  Harbor  bill  of  1882. 

The  Fox  and  Wisconsin  Rivers  have  formed  an 
important  highway  for  two  hundred  years.  It  was 
by  pursuing  this  route  that  Marquette  in  1673  dis- 
covered the  upper  Mississippi,  and  along  these  rivers 
the  French  missionaries  and  traders  made  the  earliest 
settlements  in  the  West.  _  In  the  ordinance  for  the 
government  of  the  Northwestern  Territory,  adopted 
July  14,  1787,  it  was  provided  that  the  navigable 
waters  leading  into  the  Mississippi  and  the  St.  Law- 
rence, and  the  carrying  places  between  the  same,  should 
be  common  highways  and  forever  free.  The  same 
provision  is  embodied,  in  substance,  in  the  act  of 
Congress  of  Aug.  7,  1789,  after  the  adoption  of  the 
Constitution ;  in  the  act  of  Congress  establishing  a  j 
Territorial  government  for  Wisconsin,  approved  April 
20,  1836 ;  in  the  act  admitting  Wisconsin  as  a  State,  | 
Aug.  6,  1846,  and  in  the  Constitution  of  the  State 
of  Wisconsin.  A  preliminary  survey  of  the  cost  of 
the  improvement  of  these  rivers  was  made  by  Capt. 
Cram,  of  the  United  States  Topographical  Engineers, 
in  1839.  By  the  act  of  Congress  Aug.  8,  1846,  a 
grant  of  land  was  made  to  the  State  of  Wisconsin  for 
the  purpose  of  improving  the  navigation  of  these 
rivers,  and  for  constructing  a  canal  through  the  di- 
vide, or  "  portage,"  to  unite  them,  in  which  the  j 
declaration  was  reasserted  that  this  channel  should  be 
free  to  the  commerce  of  the  United  States.  The 
State  of  Wisconsin,  by  its  Board  of  Public  Works, 
and  afterwards  by  corporations  duly  authorized,  under- 
took the  improvement  of  these  rivers,  in  the  prosecu- 
tion of  which  over  two  millions  of  dollars,  including 
the  proceeds  of  the  sale  of  the  lands  granted  by  Con- 
gress, were  expended.  The  Fox  River  was  improved 
so  as  to  pass  at  low  water  boats  of  four  feet  draught 
from  Green  Bay  to  Lake  Winnebago,  and  boats  of 
two  and  a  half  feet  draught  from  Lake  Winnebago  to 
the  Wisconsin  River.  Little  or  no  work  was  done  on 
the  latter  river. 

The  improvement  utterly  failed  to  meet  the  re- 
quirements of  commerce,  because  it  did  not  admit  of 
the  passage  of  boats  from  the  Mississippi  up  the 

Wisconsin  River.  On  the  Fox  River  the  improve- 
ment aided  in  the  development  of  that  portion  of  the 
State, — a  development  which  is  traceable  not  only  to 
the  utilization  of  the  water-power,  but  probably  in  a 
greater  degree  to  the  competition,  although  neces- 
sarily small,  existing  between  water  and  rail.  In 
1870,  Congress  directed  the  Secretary  of  War  to 
adopt  such  a  plan  for  the  improvement  of  the  Wis- 
consin as  should  be  approved  by  the  chief  of  engi- 
neers, and  authorized  him  to  appoint  arbitrators  to 
ascertain  the  sum  which  ought  to  be  paid  for  the 
transfer  of  all  rights  in  the  works  of  improvement 
then  held  by  the  corporation  created  under  the  laws 
of  Wisconsin.  The  sum  fixed  upon  was  one  hundred 
and  forty-five  thousand  dollars.  By  the  act  of  July 
7,  1870,1  Congress  further  directed  that  all  tolls  and 
revenues  derived  from  the  improvement,  after  pro- 
viding for  current  expenses,  should  be  paid  into 
the  treasury  until  the  United  States  was  reimbursed 
for  all  sums  advanced  for  the  same  with  interest 
thereon,  after  which  the  tolls  were  to  be  reduced  to 
the  least  sum  which,  with  any  other  revenue  derived 
from  the  improvement,  would  be  sufficient  to  operate 
and  keep  the  improvement  in  repair.  In  1871,  Con- 
gress made  the  appropriation  of  one  hundred  and 
forty-five  thousand  dollars,  and  the  deed  of  transfer 
was  executed  and  delivered  to  the  United  States. 
Subsequently  appropriations  amounting  to  four  hun- 
dred thousand  dollars  were  made.  The  report  of  Col. 
Houston,  then  engineer  in  charge,2  in  1873,  says, 
"  The  work  now  in  the  hands  of  the  government  is 
different  from  any  other  work  of  this  character,  and 
the  appropriation  that  was  made  last  year  (1872)  is 
too  small  an  appropriation  to  carry  on  the  work  to 
advantage."  In  the  River  and  Harbor  bill  for  1882 
the  sum  of  two  hundred  thousand  dollars  was  appro- 
priated for  continuing  the  improvement. 

The  efforts  to  improve  navigation  at  the  mouths  of 
the  Mississippi  have  a  history  running  through  more 
than  a  century  and  a  half, — a  history  made  up  in  large 
part  of  controversy  and  discussion  among  engineers, 
wherein  almost  every  fact  advanced  by  one  was  con- 
troverted by  another,  and  every  theory  advocated  was 
subsequently  assailed  or  exploded.  The  vexed  ques- 
tion has  at  last  been  definitely  settled,  and  it  is  only 
necessary  now  to  present  in  chronological  order  the 
historical  facts  in  connection  with  this  vast  enterprise. 

In  1722  the  present  South  Pass  was  examined  by 
M.  Pauger,  an  engineer  in  the  employ  of  the  West- 
ern Company,  and  described  as  being  "  straighter 

1  Rev.  Stat.,  Sec.  5249. 

2  Evidence  before  Committee  on  Transportation,  pp.  229-32. 



than  the  ancient  pass,  but  narrower."     It  was  added 
that  "  at  the  outlet  of  this  Pass  there  is  a  bar  upon 
which  there  is  but  nine  to  ten  feet  water,  and  which 
is  about  one  hundred  toises  wide."    According  to  this 
engineer,  there  was  an  average  draught  on  the  bar  of  the 
South  Pass,  one  hundred  and  sixty  years  ago,  of  about  , 
ten  English  feet.     From  the  year  1764  to  1771,  we  ; 
learn  from  Gault's    map,  made  from  the  Admiralty  j 
surveys,  that  the  depth  on  the  bar  at  the  Pass  was  ! 
from  eight  to  nine  feet  English.     From  that  time  to 
1838  there  are  no  data  as  to  the  depth  of  water.     In 
that  year  (1838)  a  survey  was  made,  under  the  direc- 
tion of  the  special  board  of  United  States  engineers, 
by  George  G.  Meade,  who  ascertained  that  "  eight 
feet  could  be   carried   over  the  west  and   principal 
channel."     After  the  Meade  survey  a  spit  of  sand 
formed  directly  in  the  mouth  of  the  Pass,  which  en- 
tirely closed  up  the  entrance,  so  far  as  commercial 
purposes  were  concerned. 

The  Northeast  Pass,  or  a  branch  thereof  called  the 
Southeast  Pass,  was  in  the  early  period  of  the  navi- 
gation of  the  river  the  principal  avenue  of  its  com- 
merce. But  this  preference  was  probably  due  rather 
to  its  position,  favoring  vessels  from  the  east,  than  to 
the  actual  depth  of  water  at  its  mouth.  The  earliest 
notices  of  the  bars  speak  of  the  entrance  to  the  river 
as  if  there  were  but  one  that  was  used  by  the  ship- 
ping, and  Mr.  Ellet  says  "  it  cannot  be  doubted  that 
the  Southeast  Pass,  or  the  Northeast  Pass  (which 
were  in  fact  at  that  day,  as  they  were  fifty  years 
later,  but  two  distinct  channels  through  the  shoal 
water  at  the  outlet  of  the  Northeast  Pass),  is  the 
channel  to  which  these  early  notices  apply."  *  The 
following  allusion  to  this  outlet  is  from  a  dispatch 
from  Bienville,  then  Governor  of  the  province,  to 
the  French  minister  in  1722  :  "  I  have  had  the  honor 
to  inform  the  Council  by  my  last  letters  concerning 
the  entrance  to  the  river,  and  to  assure  them  that 
vessels  drawing  not  over  thirteen  feet  (French)  could 
then  enter  at  full  sail  without  touching,  and  that  it 
would  not  be  difficult  to  render  the  Pass  practicable 
for  vessels  of  the  largest  size,  the  bottom  being 
nothing  but  a  soft  and  movable  mud."  Mr.  Ellet 
adds  that  "  Bienville  would  have  undertaken  to 
deepen  the  water  on  the  bar  if  the  engineers  who 
were  specially  charged  with  such  works  had  con- 
curred with  him  in  opinion  upon  the  practicability  of 
the  enterprise."  The  difference  of  opinion  among 
engineers  which  existed  at  that  early  day  has  con- 
tinued for  a  century  and  a  half,  and  postponed  the 

1  Appendix  to  "  Memoir  on  Mississippi  and  Ohio  Rivers," 
p.  329. 

work  until  Mr.  Eads  forced  it  through  by  assuming 
all  risk,  and  undertaking  its  construction  upon  the 
terms  of  no  pay  without  success. 

As  early  as  1722  the  engineer,  Pauger,  expressed 
the  opinion  that  the  deposit  from  the  river  "  could  be 
broken  and  carried  off  by  stopping  up  some  of  the 
Passes  of  the  Mississippi,  by  means  of  old  vessels 
sunk  to  the  bottom,  together  with  trees,  of  which  a 
prodigious  quantity  descends  during  the  two  first 
months  of  the  year,"  and  he  proposed  a  system  of 
dikes  and  brushwood  for  establishing  the  current  of 
the  river.  This  plan  of  improvement  by  dikes  and 
brushwood,  suggested  in  1722  by  M.  Pauger,  was 
assailed  as  useless  and  impracticable  by  Charles  Ellet, 
Jr.,  in  his  memoir  on  the  Mississippi  and  Ohio 
Rivers : 

"If  we  increase  the  velocity  of  the  fresh-water  currents  by 
contracting  the  channel,  or  by  stopping  up  the  secondary  out- 
lets, we  shall  certainly  increase  the  depth  and  velocity  of  the 
column  of  fresh  water  flowing  into  the  gulf  on  top  of  the  sea- 
water.  But  that  will  not  sweep  out  the  bar.  No  part  of  the 
fresh  water  comes  within  eight  feet  of  the  top  of  the  bar  which 
it  is  expected  to  remove. 

"  The  immediate  effect  of  this  increased  force  of  fresh  water 
will  be  to  carry  the  upper  portion  of  the  salt  water  immediately 
below  it  farther  out,  and  to  transfer  the  place  of  deposit  to  some 
other  point  still  on  the  bar,  but  nearer  the  sea,  just  as  it  is  now 
transferred  sometimes  from  above  the  head  of  the  Passes,  where 
it  is  occasionally  found  in  extreme  low  water,  to  within  half  a 
mile  of  the  edge  of  the  gulf,  to  which  point  it  recedes  in  com- 
mon high  water.  But  this  will  not  prevent  an  under  current  of 
salt  water  from  flowing  in  and  an  upper  current  from  flowing 
out,  nor  will  it  prevent  deposits  from  taking  place  at  the  points 
where  the  direction  changes,  though  with  the  same  volume,  of 
water  it  will  change  the  position  of  that  deposit." 

Mr.  Ellet  further  contended  that 

"  while  the  effect  of  increasing  the  velocity  of  the  current  by 
contracting  the  embouchure  of  the  river  will  not  be  felt  in  the 
removal  of  the  bars,  this  increase  of  current  will  take  place  at 
the  surface,  and  hence  act  with  increased  power  upon  the  very 
works  by  which  it  is  produced.  These  works  must  rest  on  foun- 
dations of  loose  mud,  which  has  been  deposited  in  the  existing 
order  of  things.  There  is,  therefore,  reason  to  believe,  at  least 
to  apprehend,  that  any  material  increase  of  littoral  velocity 
would  carry  off  this  deposit,  undermine  the  works,  and  conse- 
quently overthrow  them." 

In  this  opposition  to  what  is  now  known  as  the 
jetty  system  Maj.  C.  W.  Howell,  of  the  United  States 
engineers,  concurred  in  his  letter  to  Capt.  J.  H.  Ogles- 
by,  president  of  the  New  Orleans  Chamber  of  Com- 
merce, saying, — 

"The  theory  is  attractive  from  its  apparent  simplicity,  and 
for  the  same  reason  is  the  first  to  claim  the  attention  of  dabblers 
in  hydraulic  engineering,  who  either  do  not  know,  or  else  lose 
sight  of  the  condition  essential  to  its  successful  application.  The 
principles  of  these  conditions  are  two:  1.  That  the  character  of 
the  bed  and  banks  of  the  river  at  the  point  of  application  be 
Buch  that  scouring  will  be  effected  in  the  bed  in  preference  to 



the  banks;  in  other  words,  the  banks  must  be  firm  enough  to 
withstand  the  action  of  the  current,  and  the  bottom  yielding 
enough  to  permit  scour. 

"  The  second  condition  is  thut  there  shall  exist  a  current  (lit- 
toral), passing  the  outer  extremities  of  the  jetties  perpendicular 
to  them,  capable  of  sweeping  to  one  side  or  the  other  all  deposit 
made  about  the  jetty-heads  and  tending  to  form  a  new  bar  out- 

"  No  such  current  has  been  discovered  at  the  mouth  of  the 
Mississippi,  although  carefully  sought.  In  default  of  it  jetties 
•would  have  to  be  built  farther  and  farther  out,  not  annually, 
but  steadily  every  day  each  year,  to  keep  pace  with  the  advance 
of  the  river  deposit  into  the  gulf,  provided  they  are  attempted, 
and  the  attempt  warranted  by  having  the  relative  character  of 
bed  and  bank  favorable. 

"  For  the  reasons  that  these  two  conditions  are  not  to  be  found 
at  the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi,  careful  engineers  have  time 
and  again  pronounced  the  application  of  jetties  at  either  South- 
west Pass  or  Pass  a  1'Outre  not  worthy  of  a  trial  at  government 
expense.  If  enthusiastic  jetty  men  wish  to  pass  from  theory  to 
practice,  they  can  always  gain  consent  to  spend  their  own  money 
in  building  jetties  at  Southwest  Pass,  and  if  they  succeed  in 
doing  good  they  will  have  a  fair  claim  on  government  for  recom- 
pense. .  .  .  Jetties  have  been  attempted  there,  and  not  only 
reported  a  failure  by  the  inspecting  officer,  but  abandoned  by 
Messrs.  Craig  &  Righter,  who  made  the  attempt.1 

"  The  full  particulars  of  this  may  be  found  in  Ex.  Doc.  No. 
5  H.  R.,  36th  Cong.,  2d  sess.     The  practical  experience  gained 
by  that  failure,  I  presume,  will  deter  the  government,  though  it 
will  not  deter  adventurous  jetty  men,  from  sinking  more  money   i 
in  such  attempts." 

The  "  adventurous  jetty  men"  were  Capt.  James 
B.  Eads  and  his  associates,  who,  as  is  well  known,  have 
made  the  jetty  system  a  grand  success.  It  is  not 
necessary  to  recapitulate  here  the  controversy  which, 
in  the  newspapers  as  well  as  in  Congress,  have  agi- 
tated the  whole  Mississippi  valley  concerning  this 
method  of  deepening  the  water  at  the  mouth  of  the 
great  river. 

The  various  modes  which  have  been  attempted  of 
increasing  the  depth  of  the  channel  through  the 
Passes  have  been  the  following  : 

1.  Dredging.    Under  instructions  of  the  War  Department, 
Capt.  Talcott  attempted  in  1839  to  open  the  Southwest  Pass 
with  the  ordinary  bucket-drag.     The  gulf  waves  in  a  single 
storm  swept  in  "  twice  as  much  mud"  as  he  had  taken  out. 

2.  By  rake  and  harrow.     This  method  was  once  tried  under 
the  direction  and  at  the  expense  of  the  government  by  a  tow- 
boat  association,  but  their  efforts  were  equally  fruitless.     The 
channel  was  temporarily  opened  to  a  depth  of  eighteen  feet, 
but  again  suddenly  closed  by  a  gulf  storm. 

3.  In    1836    the   government  entered  into  a   contract  with 
Messrs.  Craig  &  Righter  to  open  a  channel  one  thousand  feet 
wide   and  eighteen  feet  deep,  which  was   to  be   executed  by 
closing  all  the  Passes  except  those  designated  for  navigation. 
The  contract  was  abandoned. 

4.  In   1868-70  the  government  caused  to  be  constructed  a 

1  Craig  &  Righter  built  but  one  jetty,  and  not  jetties,  as  ap- 
pears from  a  foot-note  to  page  455,  stating  that  "the  contrac- 
tors (Messrs.  Craig  <t  Righter,)  merely  built  one  insecure  jetty 
of  a  single  row  of  pile-planks,  about  a  mile  long." 

steam  propeller  dredge,  at  a  cost  of  three  hundred  and  fifty 
thousand  dollars,  which  was  placed  under  the  command  of  an 
officer  of  the  navy.  This  experiment  was  faithfully  made,  but 
it  "  failed  to  maintain  a  much  greater  depth  of  water  than  that 
which  nature  has  prescribed  as  the  regimen  depth  of  the  Pass." 
The  results  of  this  mode  were  at  least  but  temporary,  and  to 
have  been  of  any  service  would  have  had  to  be  continued  from 
year  to  year,  while  the  labors  of  an  entire  season  were  liable  to 
be  destroyed  at  any  time  by  a  single  storm. 

5.  By  the  Fort  St.  Philip  Canal,  which  was  strongly  recom- 
mended by  a  majority  of  the  board  of  engineers  appointed  by 
the  War  Department.  This  canal  was  proposed  as  early  as 
1832,  since  which  time  many  surveys  and  reconnoissances  have 
been  made  as  to  its  proper  location,  expense,  and  commercial 

A  report  of  the  United  States  board  of  engineers 
in  1874  favored  the  canal  scheme  and  opposed  the 
jetties,  holding  that  the  cost  of  producing  a  depth 
of  twenty-seven  feet  would  be  twenty-three  million 

In  February,  1874,  James  B.  Eads  proposed  to  Con- 
gress to  open  the  mouth  of  the  river,  making  a  depth 
of  twenty-eight  feet,  for  ten  million  dollars,  at  the 
entire  risk  of  himself  and  his  associates,  not  a  dollar 
to  be  paid  until  a  depth  of  twenty  feet  was  secured. 
The  controversy  created  by  Capt.  Eads'  proposition  be- 
came quite  warm  and  personal.  A  committee  of  civil 
engineers  was  appointed  to  investigate  the  question, 
and  particularly  the  European  jetties  and  their  ef- 

The  result  of  their  investigation  was  favorable  to 
the  jetties,  and  on  March  3,  1875,  the  President 
signed  the  bill  entering  into  a  contract  with  Capt.  Eads 
to  deepen  the  mouth  of  the  river.  South  Pass,  which 
had  previously  had  a  depth  of  nine  feet,  was  chosen, 
and  work  begun  in  June,  1875.  By  May,  1876,  when 
very  little  work  had  been  done,  it  was  found  that  one 
million  nine  hundred  thousand  cubic  yards  of  material 
had  been  scoured  out,  and  that  the  minimum  depth 
was  16.9  feet.  Even  with  this  showing  many  persons 
still  failed  to  have  confidence  in  the  jetties,  and  stories 
of  new  bars,  mud,  lumps,  etc.,  were  told  almost  every 
day  in  the  local  press.  In  November,  1877,  the 
dredge-boat  "  Bayley"  was  used  in  scouring  the 
channel  of  the  jetties. 

A  survey  made  Dec.  15,  1877,  showed  a  channel 
twenty-two  feet  deep,  and  more  than  two  hundred 
feet  wide,  existing  from  the  deeper  water  in  South 
Pass  to  the  deeper  water  in  the  gulf.  On  this  show- 
ing the  first  award  of  five  hundred  thousand  dollars, 
under  the  contract  made  between  Eads  and  the  gov- 
ernment, was  paid  over  to  him.  Work  was  continued 
on  the  jetties  in  1877  and  1878,  in  which  year  it  was 
completed,  the  concrete  and  crib-work  at  the  sea  ends 
being  erected. 

The  following  table  will  show  the    depth    in  the 



channel   at  ten  thousand  feet  from  East  Point,  the 
worst  part  of  the  Pass,  at  various  times : 

June,  1875 9.2  feet. 

May,  1876 15        " 

August,  1876 19.8    " 

July,  1877 20.3    " 

June,  1878 21.9    " 

February,  1879 22.2  feet. 

March,  1879 24.8    " 

June,  1879 28       " 

July,  1879 30.5    " 

In  the  summer  of  1881  the  least  depth  in  the 
channel  in  South  Pass,  not  in  the  jetties,  was  26 }  feet, 
97,000  feet  above  East  Point  and  at  Bayou  Grande ; 
and  29  feet  at  Picayune  Bayou,  and  at  a  point  90,000 
feet  above  East  Point.  At  no  point  in  the  jetties 
proper  is  the  depth  of  channel  less  than  30  J  feet. 

James  B.  Eads,  whose  name  is  permanently  asso- 
ciated with  three  gigantic  enterprises, — the  building 
of  the  jetties,  the  construction  of  the  gunboat  fleet 
at  St.  Louis  during  the  war,  and  the  erection  of  the 
great  bridge  across  the  Mississippi, — may  justly  be 
regarded  as  one  of  the  foremost  engineers  of  his  day, 
and  it  is  quite  within  bounds  to  say  that  no  man  has 
ever  surmounted  greater  mechanical  difficulties  or 
wrested  a  larger  measure  of  success  from  doubtful 
and  hostile  conditions.  Two  of  the  three  great  ex- 
periments whose  practicability  he  so  signally  demon- 
strated may  be  classed  among  the  wonders  of  the 
age,  for  it  is  a  matter  of  history  that  the  construc- 
tion both  of  the  Mississippi  bridge  and  jetties  was 
regarded  by  leading  engineers  and  scientific  men  as 
impracticable,  dangerous,  and  altogether  beyond  the 
limits  of  reasonable  calculation.  With  that  un- 
bounded faith  in  the  correctness  of  his  own  judg- 
ment and  that  indomitable  courage  and  endurance 
which  have  ever  been  recognized  as  the  first  essen- 
tials to  success  in  all  great  undertakings,  Capt.  Eads 
maintained  his  position  in  the  face  of  criticism,  de- 
traction, personal  abuse,  and  determined  professional 
hostility  working  through  various  channels,  and  at 
last,  by  sheer  pluck  and  persistence,  fully  vindicated 
the  soundness  of  his  views  and  covered  his  critics 
with  confusion. 

Capt.  Eads  was  born  in  Lawrenceburg,  Ind.,  May 
23,  1820,  and  his  early  education  was  acquired  in 
the  schools  of  Louisville  and  Cincinnati.  Before  he 
had  succeeded  in  mastering  the  rudiments,  however, 
his  father  experienced  reverses  which  necessitated  his 
withdrawal  from  school,  to  which  he  never  returned. 
At  a  very  early  age  he  developed  a  taste  for  mechan- 
ics and  a  fondness  for  experimenting  with  machinery, 
which  was  afterwards  to  become  the  ruling  passion  of 
his  wonderful  career.  Among  the  anecdotes  related 
of  him  is  one  to  the  effect  that  when  only  nine  years 
old,  having  embarked  on  an  Ohio  River  steamboat, 
he  exhibited  such  an  intelligent  interest  in  the  engine 

that  the  engineer  volunteered  to  explain  to  him  the  de- 
tails of  its  mechanism  and  operation,  finding  in  him  an 
absorbed  and  quickly  responsive  pupil.  Four  years 
later  the  boy  was  able  to  construct  a  miniature  work- 
ing steam-engine  without  assistance. 

In  September,  1833,  when  only  thirteen  years  of 
age,  he  arrived  in  St.  Louis  under  very  unpropitious 
circumstances,  the  steamboat  on  which  his  father 

with  his  family  had  embarked  to  seek  a  home  farther 
West  having  been  burned,  thus  rendering  the  family 
destitute.  In  order  to  contribute  something  to  the 
common  fund,  young  Eads  sold  apples  on  the  street, 
and  succeeded  not  only  in  providing  for  his  own  sup- 
port but  also  in  assisting  his  mother.  After  a  while 
he  obtained  a  position  with  a  mercantile  firm,  the 
senior  partner  of  which,  Barrett  Williams,  having 
discovered  his  mechanical  tastes  and  aspirations,  gave 
him  free  access  to  his  library,  where  he  eagerly  em- 
braced the  opportunity  to  study  mechanics,  machin- 
ery, and  civil  engineering.  After  spending  some  time 
in  this  occupation  he  obtained  a  position  as  clerk  on 
a  steamboat,  which  he  retained  two  years,  and  during 
this  period  obtained  a  valuable  fund  of  information 
concerning  the  great  river  whose  restless  current  he 
was  afterwards  to  bridle  and  control  at  will.  In  1842 
he  entered  into  a  partnership  with  Case  &  Nelson, 
boat-builders,  for  the  purpose  of  recovering  steam- 
boats and  cargoes  which  had  been  wrecked  or  sunk 



in  the  river.  At  first  the  operations  of  the  firm  were 
limited,  their  machinery  and  appliances  being  very 
primitive  and  quite  inadequate  to  the  work  which 
they  undertook  to  perform.  Such  were  the  energy, 
versatility,  and  industry  of  Capt.  Eads,  however,  that 
the  business  rapidly  expanded,  until,  in  the  space  of 
about  ten  years,  it  extended  the  entire  length  of  the 
Mississippi,  and  the  property  of  the  firm  had  increased 
to  half  a  million  dollars.  In  1845,  Capt.  Eads  sev- 
ered his  relations  with  Messrs.  Case  &  Nelson  and 
established  a  factory  for  the  manufacture  of  glass- 
ware. To  Capt.  Eads  belongs  the  credit  of  having 
made  the  first  glassware  west  of  the  Mississippi. 
The  enterprise  not  proving  remunerative,  however,  he 
returned  to  his  old  business  of  recovering  steamboat 
property,  etc.,  from  the  river. 

In  the  winter  of  1855-56,  Capt.  Eads  submitted 
to  Congress  a  proposition  to  keep  the  Western  rivers 
open  for  a  term  of  years  by  removing  all  obstructions 
and  keeping  the  channels  free.  A  bill  embodying 
his  proposal  passed  the  House  of  Representatives,  but 
was  defeated  in  the  Senate.  In  1857  he  retired  from 
active  business  on  account  of  ill  health,  but  on  the 
breaking  out  of  the  war  his  large  and  varied  expe- 
rience in  navigating  the  Mississippi  and  its  tributaries, 
his  thorough  knowledge  of  those  rivers,  his  immense 
industry  and  energy,  and  his  almost  intuitively  sound 
judgment  were  promptly  placed  at  the  disposal  of  the 
Union  government.  While  a  stanch  supporter  of  the 
war  measures  of  the  Lincoln  administration,  Capt. 
Eads  by  no  means  approved  the  enforcement  of  harsh 
and  arbitrary  measures  of  coercion,  and,  as  elsewhere 
narrated,  at  a  crisis  when  peculiar  courage  was  re- 
quired to  assume  such  a  position,  took  strong  ground 
against  the  levying  of  contributions  on  Southern  sym- 
pathizers, and  headed  a  movement  for  raising  a  fund 
to  take  the  place  of  that  which  the  military  authori- 
ties had  determined  to  exact  from  alleged  friends  of 
the  Confederacy  in  St.  Louis.  When  the  government 
took  into  consideration  the  feasibility  of  forming  a 
gunboat  fleet  on  the  Mississippi,  Capt.  Eads  was 
summoned  to  Washington  for  consultation,  and  in 
pursuance  of  his  advice  the  construction  of  a  number 
of  ironclads  was  undertaken.  Capt.  Eads  received 
the  contract  for  building  the  first  seven  of  these  ves- 
sels, and  accomplished  the  gigantic  task  with  con- 
spicuous ability  and  success.  His  labors  in  this  con- 
nection have  already  been  fully  set  forth  in  this  work 
in  the  chapter  on  the  civil  war. 

Capt.  Eads'  next  great  feat  was  the  construction  of 
the  bridge  across  the  Mississippi.  He  was  the  origi- 
nator and  creator  of  this  vast  enterprise,  and  as  its 
chief  engineer  personally  superintended  the  prosecution 

of  the  work, — a  work  attended  by  innumerable  diffi- 
culties, delays,  and  embarrassments, — which  he  con- 
ducted to  a  triumphant  consummation  by  the  steady 
and  persistent  exercise  of  his  rare  energy  and  in- 
domitable will. 

Even  when  most  actively  engaged  with  the  multi- 
farious duties  of  this  grave  trust,  and  weighted  down 
with  its  responsibilities,  he  found  time  and  thought 
to  give  to  the  important  problem  of  securing  a  suffi- 
cient depth  of  water  at  the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi 
for  vessels  of  the  largest  draught.  After  long  and 
mature  deliberation  he  came  to  the  conclusion  that 
the  only  practicable  method  of  securing  this  object 
was  by  an  elaborate  and  costly  system  of  jetties, 
which  he  defines  as  being  "  simply  dikes  or  levees 
under  water,  .  .  .  intended  to  act  as  banks  to  the 
river  to  prevent  its  expanding  and  diffusing  itself  as 
it  enters  the  sea.  It  is  a  notable  fact  that  where  the 
banks  of  a  river  extend  boldly  out  into  the  sea  no  bar 
is  formed  at  the  entrance.  It  is  where  the  banks  or 
fauces  terrx  (jaws  of  earth)  are  absent,  as  is  the  case 
in  delta-forming  rivers,  that  the  bar  is  an  invariable 
feature.  The  bar  results  from  the  diffusion  of  the 
stream  as  it  spreads  out  fan-like  in  entering  the  sea. 
The  diffusion  of  the  river  being  the  cause,  the  remedy 
manifestly  lies  in  contracting  it  or  in  preventing  the 

In  1852  a  board  of  engineers  composed  of  Maj. 
Chase  and  Capts.  Barnard  and  Beauregard,  of  the 
army,  and  Capt.  Latimer,  of  the  navy,  recommended 
that  in  order  to  increase  the  depth  of  water  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Mississippi  the  process  of  stirring  up 
the  bottom  of  the  river  by  suitable  machinery  be 
tried,  and  that  if  this  failed,  dredging  by  buckets  be 
employed.  If  both  failed,  they  recommended  that 
jetties  be  constructed  at  the  Southwest  Pass,  to  be  ex- 
tended annually  into  the  gulf  as  experience  should 
show  to  be  necessary.  Should  it  then  be  needed,  they 
advised  that  the  lateral  outlets  should  be  closed,  and, 
finally,  if  all  these  expedients  failed,  that  a  ship-canal 
might  be  resorted  to. 

Dredging,  as  we  have  seen,  was  tried  without  suc- 
cess, and  repeated  experiments  with  other  plans  re- 
sulted in  nothing  until,  in  1875,  Capt.  Eads  began  the 
construction  of  his  jetty  works,  the  contract  having 
been  awarded  to  James  Andrews  &  Co.  within  two 
months  after  the  passage  by  Congress  of  the  act 
authorizing  the  experiment.  On  the  23d  of  March, 
1875,  a  complimentary  banquet  in  honor  of  Capt. 
Eads  was  given  by  leading  citizens  of  St.  Louis  at  the 
Southern  Hotel,  at  which  the  mayor  of  the  city  pre- 
sided. In  the  course  of  an  address  on  this  occasion 
Capt.  Eads  said, — 



"  If  the  profession  of  the  engineer  were  not  based  upon  exact  | 
science,  I  might  tremble  for  the  result,  in  view  of  the  immensity 
of  the  interests  which  are  dependent  upon  my  success.  But  j 
every  atom  that  moves  onward  in  the  river,  from  the  moment  it 
leaves  its  home  and  crystal  springs  or  mountain  snows,  through- 
out the  fifteen  hundred  leagues  of  its  devious  pathway,  until  it  I 
is  finally  lost  in  the  vast  waters  of  the  gulf,  is  controlled  by  laws 
as  fixed  and  certain  as  those  which  direct  the  majestic  march 
of  the  heavenly  spheres.  Every  phenomenon  and  apparent 
eccentricity  of  the  river,  its  scouring  and  depositing  action,  its 
curving  banks,  the  formation  of  the  bars  at  its  mouth,  the 
effect  of  the  waves  and  tides  of  the  sea  upon  its  currents  and  , 
deposits,  are  controlled  by  laws  as  immutable  as  the  Creator,  and 
the  engineer  needs  only  to  be  assured  that  he  does  not  ignore 
the  existence  of  any  of  these  laws  to  feel  positively  certain  of 
the  result  he  aims  at.  I  therefore  undertake  the  work  with  a 
faith  based  upon  the  ever  constant  ordinances  of  God  himself, 
and  so  certain  as  He  will  spare  my  life  and  faculties  for  two 
years  more,  I  will  give  to  the  Mississippi  River,  through  His 
grace  and  the  application  of  His  laws,  a  deep,  open,  safe,  and 
permanent  outlet  to  the  sea." 

That  this  prediction  of  Capt.  Eads,  so  confidently 
uttered,  was  no  empty  boast  or  over-sanguine  declara- 
tion has  been  amply  demonstrated  by  the  magnificent 
success  which  has  crowned  his  labors.  At  the  present 
time  the  largest  ocean  vessels  sail  in  and  out  the 
mouth  of  the  river  without  danger  or  difficulty,  and  to 
the  energy,  skill,  and  wonderful  prescience  of  James 
B.  Eads  is  due  the  completion  of  a  work  of  improve- 
ment which  has  already  contributed  immensely  to  the 
prosperity  of  the  Mississippi  valley. 

Capt.  Eads'  fertile  brain  is  never  at  rest,  and  is  con- 
stantly employed  in  devising  great  enterprises.  Of 
these  the  most  conspicuous  in  recent  years  is  a  plan 
for  the  construction  of  a  railway  for  the  transportation 
of  ships  across  the  isthmus  of  Panama,  thus  obviating 
the  necessity  for  the  proposed  ship-canal, — a  scheme 
which  he  has  advocated  with  characteristic  ardor  and 
great  ability,  and  which  is  still  fresh  in  the  public  mind. 
In  the  summer  of  1875  the  Scientific  American  sug- 
gested his  name  as  a  candidate  for  President  of  the 
United  States,  and  the  nomination  was  indorsed  by  a 
number  of  leading  journals  throughout  the  country 
as  being  that  of  a  man  whose  genius,  experience,  and 
wonderful  achievements  eminently  fitted  him  for  so 
exalted  a  station.  Capt.  Eads,  however,  has  no  politi- 
cal aspirations,  and  can  well  afford  to  rest  content  with 
the  laurels  he  has  earned. 

In  1845  he  married  Martha  N.,  daughter  of  Patrick 
M.  Dillon,  of  St.  Louis  (who  died  in  1852),  and  subse- 
quently his  present  wife,  Mrs.  Eunice  S.  Eads.  He 
has  five  daughters,  three  of  whom  are  married  respec- 
tively to  John  A.  Ubsdell,  of  New  York,  and  Estill 
McHenry  and  James  F.  How,  of  St.  Louis. 

In  recognition  of  his  achievements  in  his  profession 
the  Missouri  State  University  conferred  the  degree  of 

LL.D.  on  Capt.  Eads,  and  the  St.  Louis  Academy  of 
Sciences  twice  elected  him  its  president.  Besides 
these  positions  he  has  filled  many  other  offices  of  trust 
and  honor  in  various  important  corporations,  among 
which  may  be  mentioned  the  National  Bank  of  the 
State  of  Missouri,  the  St.  Louis,  Kansas  City  and 
Northern  Railway,  the  St.  Charles  Bridge  Company, 
and  the  Third  National  Bank. 

In  St.  Louis  Capt.  Eads  enjoys  the  universal  respect 
and  esteem  of  the  community,  which  is  justly  proud 
of  one  whose  career  has  been  almost  without  a  parallel 
in  this  country,  and  whose  success  in  the  face  of 
herculean  difficulties  has  extorted  the  admiration  of 
even  his  opponents. 

The  Harbor  of  St.  Louis. — Almost  coincidently 
with  the  arrival  of  the  first  steamboat  at  St.  Louis  in 
1817  a  sand-bar  formed  in  the  bend  at  the  lower  end 
of  the  town,  which  gradually  extended  up  as  far  as 
Market  Street,  making  a  naked  beach  at  low  water. 
Another  bar  soon  formed  in  the  river  at  the  upper 
end  of  the  city,  west  of  Bloody  Island.  Thus,  at 
the  very  outset  of  the  commercial  progress  of  St. 
Louis,  the  current  of  the  Mississippi,  cutting  deeper 
and  deeper  into  the  American  Bottom  on  the  eastern 
side  of  Bloody  Island,  was  threatening  the  city  with 
the  diversion  of  its  channel  to  the  east  side  of  the 
island,  leaving  St.  Louis  "  high  and  dry,"  with  a 
sand-bar  in  front  of  it. 

In  this  crisis  it  was  generally  predicted  that  the 
city  would  amount  to  nothing  in  a  commercial  point 
of  view,  and  the  timid  refused  to  make  investments 
in  real  estate,  fearing  that  the  town  would  be  left 
without  the  facility  of  availing  itself  of  the  benefits 
which  the  new  steam  system  of  navigation  prom- 

1  "  Pursuant  to  the  notice  given  by  the  Board  of  Aldermen, 
November  20th,"  says  the  Republican  of  Dec.  4,  1832,  "a  large 
number  of  our  most  respected  citizens  assembled  last  evening, 
at  an  early  hour,  in  the  city  hall,  to  consider  the  propriety 
of  taking  measures  for  the  removal  of  the  sand-bar  in  front  of 
the  city.  The  meeting  was  called  to  order  by  Mr.  P.  Ferguson, 
and  on  motion,  Thornton  Griinsley,  Esq.,  was  called  to  the 
chair,  and  Nathan  Ranney  was  appointed  secretary. 

"The  meeting  was  addressed  in  a  plain  and  lucid  manner  by 
the  following  gentlemen  i  Hon.  James  H.  Peck,  P.  Ferguson, 
Mr.  Tabor,  A.  L.  Maginnis,  Mr.  McKee,  J.  F.  Darby,  W.  K. 
Rule,  R.  Simpson,  and  Thomas  Cohe,  when  a  report  of  a  com- 
mittee previously  appointed  by  the  board  of  aldermen  to  examine 
the  channel  of  the  river  was  called  for  and  ordered  to  be  read. 

"  On  motion  of  J.  F.  Darby,  seconded  by  R.  Simpson,  it  was 
resolved  that  a  committee  of  seven  gentlemen  be  appointed  to 
draft  resolutions  expressive  of  the  sense  of  this  meeting,  where- 
upon the  chair  named  the  following  gentlemen  to  constitute  the 
said  committee:  A.  L.  Maginnis,  Gen.  Bernard  Pratte,  James 
Clemens,  G.  Paul,  A.  Gamble,  G.  Morton,  and  J.  F.  Darby, 



In  1833  the  city  authorities,  becoming  alarmed  for 
the  commercial  prosperity  of  the  city,  undertook  the 
removal  of  the  sand-bars,  and  with  that  view  em- 
ployed John  Goodfellow  to  plow  them  up  with  ox-teams 
and  plows,  thus  loosening  the  sand,  which  high  water 
was  expected  to  wash  away.  The  idea  was  suggested 
by  Col.  Thomas  F.  Riddick,  and  the  means  were  sup- 
plied by  Gen.  Bernard  Pratte  and  some  other  wealthy 
citizens.  About  three  thousand  dollars  was  expended 
in  the  plowing  process  without  making  any  impression 
upon  the  sand-bar. 

Steamboats  had  grounded,  and  could  not  land  as 
high  up  as  Olive  Street,  and  daily  indications  were 
given  that  the  river  would  ultimately  sweep  around 
to  the  eastern  side  of  Bloody  Island  and  leave  the  , 
Missouri  shore. 

The  mayor  of  St.  Louis  in  1835  was  John  F. 
Darby,  who,  fully  realizing  the  danger  that  threatened 
the  present  and  future  welfare  of  the  city,  induced 
the  Board  of  Aldermen  to  petition  Congress  for  aid 
to  improve  and  construct  the  harbor  of  St.  Louis. 
The  representative  of  St.  Louis  in  Congress  at  that 
time  was  Gen.  William  H.  Ashley,1  who  by  constantly 
urging  the  committee  of  the  House  of  Representatives 
to  which  the  petition  was  referred,  of  which  Patrick 
Henry  Pope,  from  the  Louisville,  Ky.,  district  was 
chairman,  finally  secured  the  reporting  of  a  bill  recom- 
mending the  improvement  of  the  harbor,  and  appro- 
priating one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  dollars  for 
that  purpose.  Col.  Thomas  H.  Benton,  then  in  the 
United  States  Senate,  hampered  and  hindered  by  his 

"After  the  committee  had  retired  fora  short  time  it  returned, 
and  submitted  the  following  resolutions,  which  were  unani- 
mously adopted : 

"1.  Resolved,  That  in  the  opinion  of  this  meeting  the  in- 
crease of  the  sand-bar  opposite  this  city  would  be  alike  injuri- 
ous to  its  health  and  commercial  prosperity. 

"  2.  Resolved,  That  in  the  opinion  of  this  meeting  the  course 
pursued  by  the  corporate  authorities  of  this  city  for  the  removal  j 
of  the  grievance  complained  of  is  justly  deserving  of  and  hereby 
receives  its  decided  support,  and  that  this  meeting  cordially 
approve  of  the  city  authorities  effecting  said  removal  by  pro- 
curing funds  for  such  object,  whether  by  loan  or  otherwise,  and 
that  they  also  concur  in  requesting  the  corporate  authorities  to 
solicit  the  aid  of  the  State  and  general  government  therefor." 

1  Gen.  Ashley  was  warmly  attached"  to  the  people  of  St.  Louis, 
where  he  had  lived  so  long  and  had  so  many  devoted  friends. 
This  circumstance  gave  great  encouragement  and  hope.  His 
daring  adventures,  perils,  and  enterprises  in  the  Rocky  Moun- 
tains, whereby  he  had  accumulated  great  wealth,  the  elegance 
of  his  entertainments  at  Washington,  and  his  gentlemanly  bear- 
ing, all  had  given  him  a  position  of  commanding  influence,  and 
made  him  one  of  the  most  popular  men  in  the  House  of  Repre- 
sentatives; and  although  he  was  no  speaker  himself,  his  pleas- 
ant demeanor  and  his  genial  manner  were  so  winning,  that  a 
dozen  members  of  eloquence  and  ability  on  the  floor  were  always 
ready  to  spring  to  their  feet  and  advocate  his  measures. 

allegiance  to  the  Democratic  party,  which,  since  Gen. 
Jackson's  veto  of  the  Lexington  and  Maysville  road 
bill,  had  opposed  all  internal  improvements  by  the 
general  government,  could  not  very  zealously  advocate 
the  bill  for  the  improvement  of  St.  Louis  harbor, 
though  he  offered  no  opposition  to  its  passage.2 

The  work  of  preserving  the  harbor  of  St.  Louis 
was  to  be  done  under  the  supervision  of  Gen.  Charles 
Gratiot.  Mayor  Darby  immediately  opened  corre- 
spondence with  Gen.  Gratiot,  urging  him  to  visit  St. 
Louis  and  examine  the  harbor.  This  visit  was  made, 
and  the  river  fully  examined.  Gen.  Gratiot  was  in- 
troduced by  Mayor  Darby  to  the  Board  of  Aldermen, 
on  which  occasion  the  Hon.  Wilson  Priinm,  then  presi- 
dent of  the  board,  addressed  him  in  happy  terms, 
alluding  to  his  association  and  connection  with  the 
city  and  its  inhabitants. 

Gen.  Gratiot,  immediately  upon  his  return  to 
Washington,  sent  Lieut.  Robert  E.  Lee  to  St.  Louis, 
charged  with  the  immediate  supervision  of  the  work 
of  preserving  the  harbor.  This  was  in  1837,  and  the 
work  was  continued  by  Lieut.  Lee,  with  Henry  Kay- 
ser  as  his  assistant,  until  1839,  when  the  appropria- 
tion made  by  Congress  was  exhausted. 

In  December,  1837,  Lieut.  Lee  wrote  as  follows 
concerning  the  St.  Louis  harbor : 

"The  appropriation  for  the  improvement  of  the  harbor  has 
for  its  object  the  removal  of  a  large  sand-bar  occupying,  below 
the  city,  the  former  position  of  the  main  channel  of  the  Missis- 
sippi, which,  gradually  augmenting  for  many  years,  has  now 
become  an  island  of  more  than  two  hundred  acres  in  extent,  and 
reaching  from  the  lower  part  of  St.  Louis  to  two  miles  below. 
The  extensive  shoals  formed  around  its  base  extend  on  the  east 
to  the  middle  of  the  river,  and  connecting  with  the  mainland 
on  the  west  afford  at  low  water  a  dry  communication  between. 
A  flat  bar  projects  from  the  upper  end  to  the  foot  of  Bloody  Is- 
land, opposite  the  town,  which  at  low  stages  of  the  river  presents 
an  obstacle  to  the  approach  of  the  city,  and  gives  reason  to  appre- 
hend that  at  some  future  day  this  passage  may  be  closed.  This 
is  rendered  more  probable  by  the  course  of  the  river  above.  The 
united  waters  of  the  Missouri  and  Mississippi  for  some  miles 
below  their  junction  sweep  with  great  velocity  along  the  Illi- 
nois shore,  where  they  are  deflected  to  the  other  side.  The 

1  In  1847,  Col.  Benton  wrote  a  letter  to  the  St.  Louis  delega- 
tion to  the  Chicago  Internal  Improvement  Convention,  defining 
his  position  upon  the  question  of  internal  improvements,  say- 
ing, "  I  have  always  been  a  friend  of  that  system,  but  not  to 
its  abuses ;  and  here  lies  the  difficulty,  the  danger,  and  the 
stumbling-block  to  its  success.  Objects  of  general  and  national 
importance  can  alone  claim  the  aid  of  the  Federal  government; 
and  in  favor  of  such  objects  I  believe  all  the  departments  of  the 
government  to  be  united.  Confined  to  them,  and  the  Constitu- 
tion can  reach  them  and  the  treasury  sustain  them  :  extended 
to  local  or  sectional  objects,  and  neither  the  Constitution  nor  the 
treasury  could  uphold  them.  National  objects  of  improvement 
are  few  in  number,  definite  in  character,  and  manageable  by 
the  treasury ;  local  and  sectional  objects  are  innumerable  and 
indefinite  and  ruinous  to  the  treasury." 



main  body,  passing  west  of  Cascarot  (now  Cabaret)  Island, 
joins  with  the  lesser  portion  at  its  foot,  and  the  whole  is  com- 
pressed in  a  narrow  gorge  (opposite  Bissell's  Point).  Spreading 
out  in  the  wide  area  below,  the  main  current  still  keeps  to  the 
Missouri  shore,  while  a  large  part  of  the  river  directed  toward 
the  Illinois  side  is  fast  wearing  away  its  bank  and  cutting  out 
a  large  channel  east  of  Bloody  Island.  .  .  .  The  two  channels 
again  uniting  at  the  foot  of  Bloody  Island,  the  whole  body  of 
water  sweeps  down  the  Illinois  shore,  and,  its  velocity  becoming 
aijain  increased  by  the  narrowing  of  its  bed,  the  abrasion  of  its 
bottom  recommences,  all  the  deep  water  being  here  on  the  Il- 
linois side  and  all  the  shoal  on  that  of  Duncan  Island.  .  .  . 
But  in  order  to  arrest  the  wearing  away  of  the  eastern  bank  of 
the  river  and  to  protect  the  Illinois  shore,  it  will  be  necessary  to 
divert  from  it  the  force  of  the  current.  This  may  be  done  by 
running  a  dike  from  above  the  small  slough  on  that  side,  par- 
allel with  the  western  shore,  sufficiently  far  to  throw  the  water 
west  of  Bloody  Island.  .  .  ,  The  same  effect  would  be  produced 
by  throwing  a  dam  across  directly  from  the  head  of  Bloody  Is- 
land to  the  Illinois  shore.  ...  In  addition  to  these  works,  the 
head  of  Bloody  Island  will  have  to  be  protected,  from  its  head 
to  the  centre,  so  as  to  secure  it  from  the  action  of  the  current." 

The  report  also  recommended  a  dike  extending 
down  stream  from  the  foot  of  Bloody  Island.  In  the 
following  year  Capt.  Lee  reported  the  commencement 
of  the  work,  and  said  that,  with  the  small  part  of  the 
work  actually  completed,  about  seven  hundred  feet  of 
Duncan  Island  had  been  washed  off. 

The  work  under  Lieut.  Lee  during  two  years  turned 
the  current  of  the  Mississippi  back  to  the  Missouri  side, 
washed  out  the  sand-bars,  and  deepened  the  water  in 
the  harbor,  but  dikes  were  required  to  be  built  to  pre- 
serve and  protect  what  had  already  been  accomplished. 

Dr.  William  Carr  Lane  succeeded  to  the  mayoralty 
of  St.  Louis  in  1839,  and  the  city  authorities,  without 
assistance  or  aid  from  any  quarter,  continued  the  work 
in  the  improvement  of  the  harbor  under  the  direction 
of  the  able  assistant  of  Lieut.  .Lee,  Henry  Kayser. 
But  they  were  harassed  and  annoyed  by  injunctions  of 
certain  parties  in  Illinois  ;  and  the  mayor  and  some  of 
his  subordinates  were  indicted  on  account  of  the  work 
being  done  on  the  Illinois  shore  by  some  of  the  public 
functionaries  of  that  State,  from  which,  so  long  as  the 
work  was  under  the  direction  of  the  general  govern- 
ment, they  were  exempt.  Still  the  work  in  the  face 
of  all  these  trials  progressed.1 

"-  In  1846-47  the  St.  Louis  authorities  and  the  owners  of  the 
land  on  the  Illinois  side  projected  a  dike,  and  agreed  to  extend 
it  from  the  west  side  of  Bloody  Island  to  the  main  Illinois  shore 
near  where  Vaughan's  dike  now  is.  It  was  begun  in  1847,  and 
prosecuted  at  great  expense,  which  was  borne  exclusively  by  St. 

In  September,  1848,  Governor  French,  of  Illinois,  directed 
the  State's  attorney  at  Belleville  to  ask  the  court  there  for  an 
injunction  against  the  work  on  the  dike,  which  was  yet  incom- 
plete. The  injunction  was  asked  and  granted  on  the  ground  of 
the  invasion  by  St.  Louis  of  the  State  rights  of  Illinois. 

An  appeal  was  taken  by  St.  Louis  to  the  Supreme  Court  of  the 

In  1840,  Mr.  Darby  was  again  elected  mayor,  and 
the  wo»k  on  the  harbor  was  continued  by  the  city 
government.  The  application  was  renewed  to  Con- 
gress for  aid  in  behalf  of  the  city,  for  further  appro- 
priations to  continue  the  harbor  improvements,  but 
without  success.  The  work  was  continued  by  the  city 
for  about  fifteen  years,  under  the  supervision  and  man- 
agement at  first  of  Henry  Kayser,  and  subsequently 
of  Gen.  S.  B.  Curtis. 

In  1844,  Capt.  T.  J.  Cram,  United  States  Corps  of 
Topographical  Engineers,  wrote  as  follows  of  St.  Louis 
harbor : 

State  of  Illinois.  That  tribunal  having  expressed  the  opinion  at 
its  December  term  in  1848  that  not  the  judiciary  but  the  Legis- 
lature could  properly  determine  what  the  interest  of  the  State  of 
Illinois  required  in  the  premises,  the  Legislature  of  1848-49 
was  appealed  to  by  St.  Louis,  in  the  celebrated  case  Illinois  vs. 
St.  Louis.  In  January,  1849,  a  joint  resolution  was  passed  au- 
thorizing the  city  of  St.  Louis  to  construct  a  highway  over  the 
dike  then  in  progress  of  construction.  The  work  was  at  once 
resumed,  and  progressed  until  June,  1851,  when  the  dike  and 
road,  made  of  stone  and  earth,  near  completion,  were  swept 
away  by  the  flood  of  that  year.  After  the  water  abated,  how- 
ever, in  the  fall  of  1851,  one-fourth  of  a  mile  north  of  the  site 
of  the  first  dike  and  nearly  parallel,  another,  the  present  dike, 
was  projected.  It  was  laid  out  by  L.  M.  Kennett,  mayor  of  St. 
Louis,  and  the  city  engineer,  Gen.  Curtis.  It  was  finished  in 
1856,  in  the  same  status  in  which  it  now  is.  Its  cost  was  one 
hundred  and  seventy-five  thousand  dollars.  The  land  belonged 
to  the  Wiggins  Ferry  Company. 

Thus  the  channel  on  this  side  was  stopped,  and  by  the  in- 
creased volume  and  velocity  of  the  St.  Louis  channel,  Duncan's 
Island  was  removed  therefrom,  and  the  port  of  St.  Louis  re- 
stored.— History  of  East  St.  Louis,  by  Robert  A.  Tyson,  page  28. 

The  Bepublican  of  March  24,  1852,  speaking  of  Duncan's 
Island,  said, — 

"  This  bone  of  contention  between  this  city  and  a  number  of 
claimants  is  about  to  be  lost  among  the  things  that  were.  Some 
two  years  past  the  tongue  of  land  from  Duncan's  Island  reached 
as  high  almost  as  Market  Street,  and  while  the  Levee  about  that 
point  had  become  perfectly  inaccessible  to  boats,  the  sand  con- 
tinued still  to  accumulate  and  the  island  to  extend  upwards. 
Every  one  can  call  to  mind  the  apprehended  total  ruin  of  the 
South  Levee  from  this  cause,  and  property-owners  in  lower 
St.  Louis  know  best  the  disastrous  consequences  which  such 
damages  would  have  involved.  The  dikes  and  other  works 
about  Bloody  Island  have  effected  a  thorough  change  in  the 
river  at  that  locality.  Duncan's  Island  having  been  curtailed 
materially  of  its  proportions,  has  become  almost  unrecognizable. 
Two  or  three  days  since  we  strolled  along  the  Levee,  witnessing 
the  vast  and  costly  improvements  which  have  sprung  up  on  every 
side.  We  were  surprised  to  see  the  head  of  Duncan's  Island 
entirely  washed  away  and  its  uppermost  limits  removed  some- 
where opposite  the  gas-works.  A  large  body  of  water  fills  the 
slough,  still  washing  away  the  island  on  its  west  side,  while 
the  main  current  of  the  river,  which  strikes  directly  against  the 
head,  is  carrying  it  away  at  the  opposite  east  side.  The  river 
along  the  whole  southern  landing  is  more  than  deep  enough  for 
the  largest  class  of  steamers.  Whatever  may  be  said  of  the 
works  in  our  harbor,  the  owners  of  property  in  South  St.  Louis 
have  had  material  cause  to  know  their  efficiency  in  averting  a 
great  evil,  for  which  nothing  could  have  repaid  them." 



"  In  so  far  as  the  general  natural  main  tendencies  of  the  di- 
rection and  force  of  the  currents  in  different  reaches  o£the  river 
are  being  exerted,  that  portion  of  the  river  represented  on  the 
chart  west  of  Bloody  Island  and  forming  the  harbor  of  St.  Louis, 
I  regret  to  say,  must  be  regarded  in  the  condition  of  fast  becom- 
ing a  mere  slough.  ...  In  the  last  six  years,  since  the  survey 
of  Capt.  Lee  was  made,  the  abrasion  east  of  Bloody  Island  has 
been  such  as  to  wash  away  a  strip  three  hundred  feet  wide  and 
fifty  feet  deep.  ...  It  appears  that  in  1839,  1840,  and  1841 
an  extent  of  nine  hundred  and  twenty-five  feet  of  the  dike 
recommended  by  Capt.  Lee  was  constructed,  extending  from  the 
foot  of  Bloody  Island,  in  order  to  wash  away  the  bar,  costing 
about  forty-six  thousand  dollars,  when  the  work  was  stopped 
for  want  of  funds  and  left  to  its  fate,  before  it  had  been  carried 
to  one-half  of  Capt.  Lee's  estimated  cost.  Of  all  the  piles  that 
were  driven,  only  forty-two  could  be  found  standing  in  Novem- 
ber, 1843.  The  work  seems  to  have  been  constructed  by  driv- 
ing two  rows  of  piles  from  twenty  to  forty  feet  apart  and  distant 
in  the  same  row  from  each  other  six  to  ten  feet,  and  the  space 
between  the  rows  of  piles  filled  with  brush  and  stone,  battened 
from  the  piles  outwards,  one  foot  in  three.  The  idea  of  a  dam 
directly  across  from  the  head  of  Bloody  Island  to  the  Illinois 
shore  seems  to  have  been  abandoned,  and  the  oblique  dike 
commenced  starting  from  the  Illinois  shore  near  Venice,  and 
extending  in  the  direction  as  recommended  in  Capt.  Lee's  re- 
port. The  funds  for  this  work  were  furnished  by  the  city  of  St. 
Louis,  and  executed  at  a  cost  of  sixteen  thousand  dollars,  ex- 
clusive of  machinery.  Commencing  at  the  upper  extremity  of 
this  work,  about  twelve  hundred  feet  have  sunk  four  and  a  quar- 
ter feet  below  its  original  level  or  been  swept  away  by  ice  and 
drift  or  by  the  force  of  the  current.  There  for  an  extent  of 
eleven  hundred  feet  it  has  either  been  swept  entirely  away  or 
sunk  eleven  feet  below  its  original  level.  In  the  next  reach  of 
four  hundred  and  thirty-five  feet  it  has  either  been  swept  away 
or  sunk  nine  and  a  quarter  feet.  In  all  the  remainder  of  the 
work,  twelve  hundred  and  sixty-five  feet,  quite  to  its  lowest 
extremity,  where  it  extended  into  the  strongest  part  of  the  cur- 
rent, it  must  have  been  swept  away  or  sunk  fifteen  feet  below 
its  original  level.  Throughout  the  whole  of  this  dike  there 
are  but  few  piles  found  standing.  The  city  has  also  expended 
about  eleven  thousand  six  hundred  and  seventeen  dollars  in  the 
construction  of  cross-dikes  of  stone,  thrown  without  piles  or 
brush,  to  protect  the  west  bank  of  Bloody  Island  from  abrasion. 
It  is  observable  that  in  most  of  these  cross-dikes,  which  were 
extended  from  the  shore  perpendicular  to  the  thread  of  the 
stream,  the  water  has  cut  into  the  bank  on  their  down-stream 
sides,  in  virtue  of  a  current  setting  along  the  lower  face  of  the 
dike  directly  into  the  bank.  Also  the  bed  of  the  stream  has 
immediately  below  the  dikes  been  made  deeper  by  the  plunge 
of  water  passing  over  their  summits,  as  is  always  the  tendency 
under  the  fall  over  a  waste  weir." 

Capt.  Cram  quotes  from  the  reports  of  Capt.  Lee, 
in  1840,  to  show  what  had  been  the  effect  of  the 
work  begun  in  1837.  The  report  said, — 

"  The  pier  on  the  Illinois  shore  (i.e.,  from  Venice  south)  has 
served  to  throw  the  main  body  of  water  west  of  Bloody  Island, 
which  has  cut  a  broad  and  deep  channel  through  the  flat  shoal 
that  extended  from  the  head  of  Bloody  Island  to  the  Missouri 
shore.  As  this  channel  enlarges  that  east  of  the  island  diminishes, 
and  between  the  pier  and  head  of  Bloody  Island  is  becoming  more 
and  more  shoal.  The  pier  from  the  foot  of  Bloody  Island  con- 
fines the  water  to  the  Missouri  shore,  and  directs  the  current 
against  the  head  of  Duncan  Island.  A  large  portion  of  the 
head  and  eastern  face  of  this  island  has  been  washed  away 
during  the  past  year.  The  deep  water  now  extends  close  to  it, 

and  admits  the  largest  boats  to  the  lower  wharf  of  the  city. 
The  depth  of  the  river  on  the  Illinois  side  is  diminishing.  .  .  . 
Both  piers,  however,  require  to  be  finished.  The  upper  ought 
to  be  strengthened  and  extended  down  the  river  and  the  lower 

The  appropriations  recommended,  however,  were 
not  made,  and  the  work  went  to  pieces.  Capt.  Cram 
says  (1844),— 

"  Had  ample  means  been  appropriated  and  expended  accord- 
ing to  the  views  of  that  officer,  in  all  probability  the  harbor 
would  have  needed  little  more,  except  to  fill  up  for  the  subse- 
I  quent  settling  of  the  work,  the  damage  occurring  from  ice, 
abrasion,  and  driftwood.  These  would  have  cost  considerably 
more  than  generally  supposed,  but  I  think  that  plan,  if  pur- 
sued to  completion  and  to  have  been  successful,  would  ulti- 
mately have  resulted  in  a  completely  connected  work,  extending 
from  near  the  foot  of  Kerr's  Island  quite  to  the  head  of  Bloody 
Island,  then  along  the  west  shore  of  that  island  by  a  revetment 
to  connect  with  the  dike,  making  two  miles  of  dike-work,  one 
mile  of  revetment,  and  nine  hundred  and  twenty-five  feet  of 
dike."  .  .  . 

The  report  of  the  city  engineer  in  March,  1846, 
stated  that  in  1842  the  lower  part  of  the  harbor  was 
so  obstructed  by  bars  that  the  ferry-boat  was  com- 
pelled to  land  at  the  foot  of  Vine  Street.  In  the 
winter  of  1845-46,  although  the  water  was  two  feet 
lower  than  had  ever  been  known  before,  the  boat 
could  use  her  landing  at  the  foot  of  Market  Street, 
showing  a  decided  improvement  instead  of  impairment 
of  the  wharf  front,  as  had  been  charged  by  parties  hos- 
tile to  the  plan  of  the  city  extending  the  dikes  at 
Hazel  and  Mulberry  Streets.  He  further  said, — 

"  The  improvement  of  the  harbor  requires,  first,  a  regular 
shore  on  the  Missouri  side,  which  in  time  will  be  afforded  by 
the  improved  Levee;  second,  a  regular  and  nearly  parallel  shore 
on  the  Illinois  side;  third,  regulation  of  the  bed  of  the  river 
above  the  city  so  as  to  direct  the  water  into  the  channel  under 
favorable  conditions.  The  first  is  the  work  of  the  city,  the  latter 
two  are  and  should  be  in  the  hands  of  the  United  States." 

Congress  at  this  time  seemed  entirely  willing  to 
make  what  at  that  time  would  have  been  considered 
liberal  appropriations  for  the  harbor  of  St.  Louis  and 
other  public  works,  but  all  bills  of  this  character  were 
consistently  vetoed  by  President  Polk.  As  a  result 
of  the  vetoes  the  question  of  internal  improvements 
became  a  political  issue  of  no  little  importance  in  the 
Northwest  and  West.  Additional  appropriations  be- 
ing unobtainable,  inquiry  was  made  as  to  what  had 
become  of  the  unexpended  appropriation  of  1844. 
From  all  that  can  now  be  ascertained  the  balance, 
twenty-two  thousand  seven  hundred  and  nine  dollars, 
was  never  expended. 

The  controversy,  already  alluded  to,  with  the  Illinois 
authorities  in  regard  to  the  river-front  of  East  St. 
Louis  being  happily  ended  by  the  joint  resolution  of 
the  Illinois  Legislature,  the  construction  of  the  dike 



opposite  Duncan's  Island  was  resumed  in  the  spring  of 
1851.  The  river  was  then  five  thousand  two  hun- 
dred feet  in  width  opposite  the  lower  part  of  the  city, 
and  it  was  proposed  to  narrow  it  to  eighteen  hundred 
feet.  In  1852,  chiefly  as  a  result  of  the  efforts  to 
close  Bloody  Island  chute,  which  had  not  then  fully 
succeeded,  the  east  side  had  been  removed  until  the 
island  extended  but  five  hundred  feet  east  of  the  pro- 
posed wharf  line.  A  small  strip  of  the  island  was 
joined  to  the  main  land  by  cross-dikes  in  1852-53. * 

From  that  time  and  up  to  1866  the  chute  west  of 
the  island  was  unnavigable.  In  1866  the  city  engi- 
neer advocated  straightening  the  river  from  the  city 
to  Carondelet  by  a  front  line  passing  through  the 
island.  About  this  time  the  west  chute  became  the 
main  channel,  and  the  wharf  line  was  left  as  estab- 
lished in  1864  to  the  then  city  limits  at  Keokuk 
Street.  As  this  line  ended  seven  hundred  and  fifty 
feet  from  the  shore,  its  adoption  involved  the  widen- 
ing of  the  chute  by  washing  away  the  west  side  of 
the  island.  Several  small  spur-dikes  were  pushed  out 
from  the  Missouri  shore  behind  the  island  previous  to 
1858,  but  not  far  enough  to  exert  any  controlling  in- 
fluence during  the  time  when  it  was  uncertain  which 
plan  would  finally  be  adopted.  After  the  extension 
of  the  city  in  1870,  absorbing  the  old  town  of  Caron- 
delet, the  extension  of  the  line  in  front  of  the  newly- 
acquired  territory  was  brought  forward,  and  a  project 
submitted  by  the  city  engineer  accepting  the  line  as 
then  established  by  ordinance,  nearly  in  the  middle  of 
the  channel,  affording  an  opportunity  to  make  many 
blocks  of  ground. 

The  project  of  making  the  west  chute  the  perma- 
nent channel  was  acquiesced  in  by  all.  The  board  of 
engineers  in  their  report  of  April  13,  1872,  had  in- 
dorsed it  to  the  extent  of  saying  by  implication  that 
the  United  States  should  close  the  eastern  channel  if 
observation  showed  danger  of  the  river  leaving  the 
channel  to  the  west.  Before  this  proposed  extension 
of  the  wharf  line  was  formally  laid  before  the  City 
Council,  an  ordinance  was  passed  ordering  the  con- 
struction of  a  dike  at  the  foot  of  Bryan  Street.  As 
no  necessity  was  apparent  for  this  dike,  it  is  not  un- 
reasonable to  suppose  that  it  was  moved  and  passed 
with  a  view  chiefly  to.  commit  the  city  to  the  proposed 

1  The  Republican  of  Feb.  25,  1874,  gives  the  following  as  the 
measurements  of  the  river:  "At  the  foot  of  Pine  Street  it  is 
1560  feet  wide;  foot  of  Wash  Street,  1500  feet;  at  Biddle  Street, 
1500  across  to  Bloody  Island  ;  North  Market  to  the  main  shore 
below  the  dike,  3900;  Warren  Street  to  the  end  of  the  long 
dike,  before  the  government  commenced  work,  2380  feet  wide; 
to  the  shore  below  the  dike,  3500  feet;  from  Destrehan  to 
the  Venice  Ferry  landing,  2580  feet;  from  Angelica  Street  to 
Bishoff's  dike,  1450  feet." 

line.  Work  on  this  dike  was  prosecuted  so  vigor- 
ously that  the  first  intimation  of  its  commencement 
to  many  was  the  complaint  made  by  boatmen  that  the 
channel  was  obstructed,  but  the  work  had  progressed 
far  enough  to  cross  the  main  channel,  which  had  been 
along  the  main  Missouri  shore.  The  work  being 
done  in  the  spring,  or  at  the  season  when  the  general 
tendency  of  the  river  is  to  rise,  the  conditions  were 
unfavorable  to  the  ostensible  purpose  of  the  dike, 
which  was  to  compel  the  washing  away  of  the  west 
side  of  the  island. 

As  the  stage  of  water  afforded  a  free  discharge  of 
the  obstructed  water  by  way  of  the  eastern  chute, 
that  channel  was  deepened,  and  eventually  became  the 
main  channel. 

Growing  out  of  the  discussion  which  followed  the  re- 
turn of  the  channel  to  Cahokia  chute,  an  urgent  demand 
for  the  closure  of  that  chute  was  made  by  all  parties 
interested,  for  once  all  agreeing  in  desiring  this  action, 
and  a  survey  was  made  by  United  States  engineers  in 
the  summer  of  1874,  with  special  reference  to  this 
matter.  The  construction  of  a  dam  across  Cahokia 
Creek  was  authorized  by  Congress.  The  act  of  Con- 
gress making  appropriations  for  this  dam  specifically 
limits  it  to  a  low  dam,  although  it  was  clearly  stated 
in  the  report  that  as  such  it  would  necessarily  fail  to 
accomplish  all  the  requirements  of  the  case. 

Very  little  has  actually  been  done  towards  the  per- 
manent improvement  of  the  harbor  below  the  arsenal. 
The  plans  contemplate  considerable  reclamations  of 
ground  from  the  river,  which  must  be  a  slow  process. 
These  proposed  reclamations  extend  from  above  the 
arsenal  to  near  Dover  Street,  from  Fillmore  to  Stein 
Street,  and  from  Stein  Street  nearly  to  Jefferson 
Barracks.  When  complete  the  alignment  of  the  wharf 
south  will  be  convex  from  Market  Street  to  Bryan, 
a  distance  of  sixteen  thousand  feet,  and  concave  from 
there  to  Jefferson  Barracks,  thirty-six  thousand  feet. 

On  the  east  side  of  the  river  the  corrected  width  is 
defined  only  at  the  Illinois  and  St.  Louis  Railroad 
dike,  opposite  Chouteau  Avenue  and  opposite  Marine 
Avenue,  by  the  revetment  of  part  of  Arsenal  Island, 
opposite  Carondelet,  by  the  incline  of  the  East  St. 
Louis  and  Carondelet  Railroad,  by  the  Waterloo  Ferry 
dike  and  the  coal-dump  of  the  St.  Louis  and  Cairo 
Narrow-Gauge  Railroad.  Farther  down  the  United 
States  dikes  for  the  improvement  of  Horsetail  Bar, 
with  two  thousand  four  hundred  feet  of  partially- 
constructed  training-wall,  are  steps  toward  the  defin- 
ition of  a  line  extending  to  the  head  of  Carroll  Island. 

Arsenal  Island  belongs  to  the  city  of  St.  Louis, 
having  been  purchased  from  the  school  board  for 
thirty-three  thousand  dollars  in  1866.  It  was  pat- 



ented  to  the  school  board  in  1864  by  J.  M.  Edmunds, 
commissioner  of  the  general  land  office  at  Washing- 
ton. All  of  the  land  within  the  island  previous  to 
this  time  was  known  as  "  Quarantine  Island,"  and 
sometimes  called  Arsenal  Island.  The  total  number 
of  acres  contained  in  the  island  at  that  time  was  119.57. 
The  deed  to  the  city  was  signed  by  Felix  Coste,  pres- 
ident of  the  school  board,  and  George  M.  Fitchten- 
kamp,  secretary.  During  the  civil  war  the  upper 
portion  of  the  island  was  used  as  a  burial-ground  by 
the  government.  After  the  city  got  possession  it 
was  used  for  a  smallpox  hospital.  Many  of  the  old 
graves,  not  otherwise  removed,  were  washed  away  by 
the  encroachments  of  the  river. 

Going  back  to  the  surveys,  the  first  shore  line  we 
have  a  record  of  (in  1862)  was  opposite  the  north  line 
of  the  arsenal.  The  head  of  the  island  moved  down 
three  hundred  feet  by  1865,  in  which  year  the  main 
channel  was  on  the  east  side  of  the  island.  At  that 
time  one  could  go  from  the  St.  Louis  side  to  the  head 
of  the  island  on  a  sand-bar  during  low  water,  from 
October  to  about  March.  The  next  survey  was  made 
in  1874,  when  it  was  found  that  the  head  of  the 
island  had  moved  down  one  thousand  three  hundred 
feet  from  the  survey  of  1865,  making  the  retrocession 
of  the  island  altogether  since  the  survey  of  1862 
about  one  thousand  six  hundred  feet,  over  one-fourth 
of  a  mile  in  twelve  years.  The  survey  of  1874  showed 
the  channel  to  be  located  on  the  west  side,  between 
the  island  and  the  Missouri  shore.  The  change  of 
the  channel  at  that  time  was  caused  by  dikes  built 
by  the  Cahokia  Ferry  Company  for  the  purpose  of 
making  a  steam  ferry-boat  landing  at  Cahokia. 

The  survey  of  this  island  by  City  Engineer  John 
G.  Joyce  in  1880  shows  that  the  head  of  the  island 
has  moved  down  four  thousand  eight  hundred  feet 
from  the  survey  of  1862,  nearly  a  mile.  The  chan- 
nel still  remains  on  the  west  side  of  the  island.  It  is 
interesting  to  remark  here  that  the  dike  built  by  City 
Engineer  Moulton  about  1867-68,  at  the  foot  of 
Bryan  Street,  diverted  the  channel  from  the  west  to 
the  east  side  of  the  island,  and  also  washed  the  head 
of  the  island  down  some  three  thousand  feet.  A  cor- 
respondence sprang  up  about  that  time  between  the 
Governor  of  Illinois  and  Mayor  Brown  in  reference 
to  the  Bryan  Street  dike,  the  Governor  opposing  the 
construction  of  the  dike  on  account  of  the  damage 
that  would  accrue  to  the  farmers  on  the  Illinois  side 
in  consequence  of  diverting  the  current  to  the  Illi- 
nois shore ;  the  result  was  that  the  building  of  the  dike 
was  stopped,  and  the  general  government  had  to  erect 
a  dike  from  Arsenal  Island  to  the  Illinois  shore  from 
the  upper  eastern  shoulder  of  the  island. 

The  survey  of  Mr.  Joyce  shows  the  acreage  of  Ar- 
senal Island  to  be  247.32  acres.  The  revetment 
made  by  the  United  States  government  engineers 
along  the  west  shore,  extending  from  a  little  below 
the  northern  apex  towards  the  southern  extremity, 
with  revetment  and  dike  on  the  east  shore,  would 
justify  the  conclusion  that  there  will  be  little,  if  any, 
washing  away  in  the  future ;  but,  on  the  contrary,  a 
steady  increase.  The  dike  which  was  built  on  the 
east  side  some  two  or  three  years  ago,  above  alluded 
to,  has  already  formed  a  sand-bar  on  its  south  and  ad- 
joining the  island  of  some  two  hundred  and  sixteen 
acres,  which  will  steadily  increase  by  accretion.  This 
in  time  will  be  as  high  as  the  island  proper.  The 
dike  is  bound  to  obstruct  the  current  forever  on  that 
side,  and  its  being  built  on  a  foundation  of  brushwood 
fastened  by  piling  and  the  whole  imbedded  with  rock, 
justifies  the  belief  that  it  is  a  permanent  fixture. 

The  improvements  of  the  harbor  of  St.  Louis  have 
passed  through  two  stages.  The  first,  arising  out  of 
a  difficulty  in  the  way  of  approach  to  the  harbor, 
has  already  been  considered.  This  difficulty  stood  also 
in  the  way  of  all  the  commerce  passing  St.  Louis,  and 
therefore  the  improvement  was  in  no  proper  sense  a 
local  one.  The  second  stage  dates  from  about  1841 
or  1843,  and  is  marked  by  the  addition  to  the  former 
difficulty  of  an  apprehension  that  the  harbor  would 
be  entirely  lost;  not  only  that  the  main  channel  would 
be  to  the  eastward  of  the  island,  but  that  the  Missouri 
shore  would  speedily  become  inaccessible  to  boats. 

Upon  the  authority  of  Capt.  Cram,  it  appears  that 
the  volume  of  water  in  1843  west  of  the  island  was 
to  that  east  of  it  as  ten  to  six.  In  December,  1845, 
the  same  officer  says,  the  quantity  running  into  the 
city  channel  was  to  the  quantity  running  into  the  Il- 
linois as  1  is  to  1.01.  These  changes  rendered  the 
closure  of  the  chute  east  of  Bloody  Island  a  necessity 
to  St.  Louis,  and  the  hope  of  being  benefited  by  the 
misfortune  of  their  rival  accounts  for  the  interest  taken 
by  Alton  and  Quincy  in  the  matter  of  closing  the  chute 
much  more  satisfactorily  than  the  pretended  fear  of 
injury  from  back-water  caused  by  forcing  the  Missis- 
sippi to  pass  through  a  channel  only  four  hundred  and 
fifty  yards  wide. 

In  the  years  following  the  closure  of  the  Bloody 
Island  channel  no  matter  of  general  interest  arose 
until  by  the  growth  of  the  city  and  its  trade  the  ex- 
tension of  wharf  facilities  was  required,  and  a  third 
stage  in  the  development  of  the  demand  for  harbor 
improvement  was  introduced  by  the  necessities  of  the 
traffic  across  the  stream,  the  number  of  persons  and 
railroad  transfers  requiring  that  both  shores  should  be 
permanently  accessible  at  numerous  points. 



The  central  and  south  wharves  have  now  plenty  of 
water.  Regarding  the  establishment  of  the  present 
north  wharf  line  and  clearing  away  the  bar  in  front  of 
it,  the  report  of  Col.  W.  E.  Merrill,  United  States 
Engineers,  after  showing  that  the  Grand  Chain  dike 
should  be  abandoned,  as  it  only  made  matters  worse  at 
Sawyer's  Bend,  has  the  following :  "  The  central  har- 
bor being  in  good  condition  during  the  low  stage,  it  is 
manifest  that  if  we  can  make  the  northern  harbor  like 
the  central  we  may  expect  the  same  results  in  it.  In 
other  words,  if  we  can  canalize  this  portion  of  the  river 
to  a  sufficiently  small  section,  giving  it  revetted  banks, 
we  may  confidently  expect  a  sufficiency  of  water. 
Moreover,  when  once  this  work  is  properly  performed 
we  need  have  no  further  apprehensions  about  the 
angle  at  which  the  river  current  enters  the  city 
limits.  It  will  be  forced  through  so  narrow  a  channel 
as  to  make  the  variations  of  the  current  a  matter  of 
indifference.  If  we  could  succeed  in  getting  the  river 
to  abandon  the  Sawyer  Bend  and  to  take  the  eastern 
channel  by  Cabaret  Island  we  would  doubtless  attain 
our  object,  and  a  shoal  extending  from  Venice  west- 
ward would  ultimately  narrow  the  water-way  to  the 
prescribed  width.  But  having  concluded  that  no  re- 
liance could  be  placed  upon  any  means  under  our 
control  for  effecting  this  change,  it  only  remains  to 
see  if  we  cannot  accomplish  the  same  thing  in  a  dif- 
ferent manner.  Our  object  will  be  to  contract  the 
water-way  in  the  northern  harbor  so  as  to  force  the 
water  to  run  in  the  channel  which  we  wish,  notwith- 
standing it  comes  from  Sawyer's  Bend.  There  is  a 
permanent  low-water  channel  already  established  in  the 
northern  harbor,  though  it  is  not  alongside  the  north- 
ern wharf.  Either  the  city  must  move  to  this  channel 
or  the  channel  must  be  made  to  come  to  the  city.  The 
former  method  would  be  more  natural,  and  in  an  en- 
gineering point  of  view  would  be  much  preferable. 
Our  studies  have  shown  us  that  in  its  natural  condition 
a  river  has  no  right  lines,  passing  directly  from  a  curve 
bending  one  way  into  a  curve  bending  in  the  opposite 
direction.  If,  then,  the  northern  wharf  line  were 
moved  out  to  the  edge  of  the  bar  and  made  to  conform 

to  the  curve  of  the  channel,  we  should  have  a  natu- 
'         i 

rally  formed  river  from  below  the  Grand  Chain  to  the 
elevator.  With  shore  lines  thus  established  there 
would  be  no  difficulty  in  making  permanent  revet- 
ments." After  instancing  a  number  of  objections  to 
this  course,  such  as  the  abandonment  of  a  line  on 
which  much  work  had  been  done,  lengthening  the 
sewers,  damages  to  water-front  owners,  etc.,  the  engi- 
neer's report  says, — 

"Under  these  circumstances  the  only  course  that  :<eems  left 
is  to  force  the  river  to  come  to  the  wharf,  which  the  city  has 

established.  That  this  can  be  done  I  have  no  doubt,  though 
the  channel  so  formed  will  be  an  unnatural  and,  therefore,  ex- 
pensive one.  ...  To  force  the  water  channel  over  to  the  city 
wharf  we  must  drive  it  by  a  series  of  dikes.  Th-j  dikes  already 
constructed  by  City  -Engineer  Bischoff  will  be  the  first  of  the 
system,  the  long  dike  extended  will  be  the  third,  an  interme- 
diate dike  at  or  near  Venice  Landing  will  be  the  second,  and 
a  fourth  dike  may  be  needed  at  the  head  of  Bloody  Island.  I 
would  recommend  that  they  be  raised  to  the  height  of  fourteen 
feet  above  low  water."  .  .  . 

It  is  upon  this  report  of  Col.  Merrill  that  the  city 
has  based  its  latter-day  wharf  plans.1 

The  present  United  States  engineers  are  not  so  san- 
guine that  the  river  can  be  brought  to  the  wharf,  but 
think  the  wharf  must  go  to  the  river. 

According  to  their  reports,  the  complete  improve- 
ment of  the  harbor  of  St.  Louis  requires,  first,  the 
fixation  of  the  banks  above  the  city  so  as  to  control 
the  approach  to  the  harbor  and  preserve  the  condi- 
tions of  entrance  invariable  ;  second,  the  regulation 
of  the  width  and  depth  in  front  of  the  city  by  regu- 
lar permanent  lines  of  definition  at  high  and  low 

1  The  Republican  of  March  20,  1857,  speaking  of  the  wharf, 
said, — 

"  The  whole  of  this  magnificent  work,  from  Market  Street  to 
Locust,  has  been  completed  and  is  now  ready  for  use.  Those 
who  recollect  the  condition  of  the  Levee  when  Mr.  Kennett  came 
into  office,  less  than  a  year  ago,  can  hardly  realize  the  change 
which  it  has  undergone.  It  was  then  a  narrow,  unpaved,  and 
irregular  spot,  upon  which  business  could  be  done  only  in  the 
greatest  confusion  and  with  still  greater  delay.  A  narrow  street 
afforded  very  little  room  for  the  receiving  and  discharging  of 
freight,  and  the  drays  were  so  jammed  together  that  it  was  im- 
possible to  get  along.  Now,  thanks  to  Mr.  Kennett's  sound 
judgment,  knowledge  of  the  demands  of  commerce,  and  energy 
in  carrying  out  his  plans,  he  has,  with  the  aid  of  the  Council, 
built  up  and  carried  out  a  levee  which  has  not  its  like  in  the 
United  States.  The  work  before  him  was  enough  to  startle  a 
man  less  bold  and  less  confident  of  the  ability  to  carry  out  his 
plans  than  himself.  It  was  necessary  not  only  to  extend  the 
wharf  into  the  river,  but  also  to  fill  up  the  ground  several  feet, 
and  upon  this  a  solid  and  durable  pavement  was  to  be  laid.  All 
this  has  been  accomplished  under  circumstances  of  a  very  dis- 
couraging character.  Merchants  can  now  do  their  business 
with  some  comfort,  the  boats  can  discharge  and  receive  their 
freight  in  one-half  the  time  and  in  good  condition,  and  the 
draymen  can  pursue  their  laborious  calling  without  delay  and 
without  being  constantly  jammed  against  each  other.  For  this 
improvement  the  community  is  indebted  to  Mr.  Kennett.  Be- 
fore he  came  into  office  it  was  going  on  at  a  snail's  pace,  and 
upon  so  narrow  and  contracted  a  plan  that  no  advantage  could 
have  been  derived  from  it,  even  if  it  had  been  paved. 

"  If  Mr.  Kennett  is  continued  in  office — and  the  citizens  will 
do  great  injustice  to  themselves  if  they  do  not  elect  him  without 
a  serious  contest — seven  additional  blocks  south  of  Main  Street 
will  be  completed  before  the  end  of  the  summer,  and  then  what 
a  magnificent  levee  it  will  be !  The  work  is  going  on  as  rap- 
idly as  possible;  it  gives  employment  to  hundreds  of  men,  and 
the  sooner  it  is  all  completed  the  sooner  the  city  will  be  able  to 
effect  a  reduction  in  the  rates  of  wharfage." 



"  The  first  requires  the  revetment  of  the  right  bank  for  the 
whole  length  of  Sawyer  Bend,  and  possibly  a  section  of  the  j 
Illinois  shore  opposite  to  and  above  the  Chain  of  Rocks,  also  j 
the  closing  of  Cabaret  slough  by  a  high  embankment  and  re-  j 
vetment  of  the  head  of  the  island.  Besides  the  work  here 
named  it  is  improbable  that  any  will  be  required  for  many  years 
upon  that  part  of  the  city  front  above  the  water-works.  The 
concave  bank  insures  the  permanent  location  of  the  channel 
close  to  the  Missouri  shore,  and  the  west  side  of  Cabaret  Island 
is  more  likely  to  receive  accretions  than  suffer  abrasion.  There- 
fore, unless  by  the  growth  of  new  interests  or  unforeseen  ex- 
pansion of  those  existing,  a  necessity  should  arise  for  deep  water 
on  the  east  side,  this  part  of  the  river  may  be  considered  the  ap- 
proach to  the  harbor,  and,  except  the  work  named,  may  be  left 
to  nature.  The  extent  of  bank  to  be  revetted  in  Sawyer's  Bend 
is  twenty-seven  thousand  feet. 

"  The  regulated  canalized  river  harbor  will  begin  near  the 
city  water-works,  and  the  upper  limit  may  be  fixed  at  the  pres- 
ent Bischoff's  dike,  which  now  extends  from  the  Illinois  shore 
to  within  one  thousand  five  hundred  and  seventy  feet  of  the 
St.  Louis  wharf." 

By  the  River  and  Harbor  Act  of  1882  it  is  pro- 

"  that  the  unexpended  sums  heretofore  appropriated  for  an  ice- 
harbor  at  St.  Louis,  Mo.,  be  and  the  same  are  hereby  transferred 
and  appropriated,  to  be  expended,  under  the  direction  of  the 
Secretary  of  War,  for  the  improvement  of  the  channel  of  the 
Mississippi  River  opposite  the  city  of  St.  Louis,  Mo.,  by  repair- 
ing and  raising  the  low  dam  across  the  channel  east  of  Arse- 
nal Island,  known  as  Cahokia  chute,  and  by  the  construction 
of  such  other  works  in  or  near  said  Cahokia  chute  as  may  bo 
deemed  advisable  to  accomplish  the  same  purpose." 

The  harbor  of  St.  Louis,  extending  from  the  Des 
Peres  River  on  the  south  to  the  northern  extremity 
of  the  city,  is  nearly  fourteen  miles  in  length,  of 
which'  nearly  four  miles  are  paved,  and  embraces  an 
area  of  water  of  nearly  five  square  miles. 

The  total  expenditures  for  the  improvement  of  the 
harbor  of  St.  Louis  from  Ofetober,,  1840,  to  April, 
1869,  amounted  to  $1,012,551.68. 

Floods  in  the  Mississippi  and  Tributaries,  and 
the  Levee  System. — The  Mississippi  River  and  its 
tributaries  drain  an  area  above  and  including  the  Red 
River  as  follows : 


I.  The  Missouri  River  and  tributaries 519,400 

II.  The  Ohio  "         "  "         202,400 

III.  The  Upper  Mississippi  River  and  trib- 

utaries      184,500 

IV.  The  Arkansas  and  White  Rivers  and 

tributaries 176,700 

V.  The  Red  River  and  tributaries 102,200 

VI.  The  Yazoo,  Obion,  and  Black  Rivers 

and  tributaries 29,300 

VII.  The  St.  Francis  River  and  tributaries..  12,100 

Total 1,226,600 

The  rainfall  over  this  vast  extent  of  country  has  been 
carefully  investigated,  and  forty  inches  has  been  fixed 
upon  as  the  annual  downfall,  which  must,  of  course, 
be  carried  off,  either  by  evaporation  or  drainage. 

Supposing,  says  Charles  Ellet,  Jr.,  that  "  from  any 
cause, — as  the  tillage  of  the  prairies,  the  destruc- 
tion of  the  vegetable  growth,  or  the  better  drain- 
age of  the  fields, — out  of  the  forty  inches  of  rain, 
two-fifths  of  an  inch,  or  nearly  one  per  cent,  of 
the  whole,  should  be  discharged  into  the  Mississippi 
in  the  course  of  sixty  days  of  flood  over  and  above 
the  present  discharge.  If  this  slight  increase  of 
the  total  discharge  were  distributed  uniformly  over 
the  whole  period  of  sixty  days  of  high  water,  it  would 
require  that  the  channel  of  the  river  should  be  com- 
petent to  give  vent  to  an  increased  volume  equal  to 
two  hundred  and  twenty  thousand  cubic  feetjper  second. 
If  this  increased  volume  be  retained  in  the  channel  by 
levees,  these  levees  must  be  raised  six  feet  higher 
than  the  tops  of  the  present  (1854)  embankments."  * 
The  object  of  the  computations  by  which  this  conclu- 
sion was  arrived  at  by  Mr.  Ellet  was  to  show  how 
sensitive  is  the  discharge  of  the  Mississippi  River  to 
every  variation,  however  inconsiderable,  of  the  drain- 
age of  the  country  ;  and  to  prove  that  if  the  evapo- 
ration be  slightly  reduced,  or  the  drainage  slightly 
hastened  or  increased  by  the  causes  which  are  pro- 
gressing with  increasing  population  and  the  extension 
of  cultivation,  then  for  every  fifth  part  of  an  inch 
by  which  the  total  drainage  is  increased  in  the  period 
of  high  water  there  must  be  experienced  an  average 
increase  of  about  three  feet  in  the  heights  of  the 
floods,  unless  the  water  can  find  its  accustomed  vents 
into  the  swamps.  This  statement  will  aid  in  form- 
ing some  estimate  of  the  consequences  which  are  to 
spring  from  the  extension  of  society  over  the  yet  un- 
peopled West,  and  the  cultivation  of  the  vast  territory 
which  is  drained  by  the  Mississippi  and  its  tributaries, 
increasing  the  amount  of  water  poured  down  the 
lower  Mississippi,  while  the  population  of  that  por- 
tion of  the  valley  is  closing  the  accustomed  outlets  of 
the  river  in  the  extension  of  the  levees. 

A  great  flood  is  the  result  of  a  simultaneous  dis- 
charge of  the  great  tributaries  which  ordinarily  run 
off  successively.  The  high  water  produced  by  the 
Red  and  Arkansas  Rivers,  in  the  ordinary  course  of 
things,  has  begun  to  subside  before  that  of  the  Ohio, 
Cumberland,  and  Tennessee  comes  down  ;  and  these, 
again,  begin  to  recede  before  the  upper  Mississippi 
discharges  its  vojume ;  and  this,  in  its  turn,  subsides 
before  the  snows  of  the  Rocky  Mountains  are  melted 
by  the  tardy  sun  in  those  high  latitudes,  and  the  water 
has  time  to  flow  off  through  the  three  thousand  miles 
of  channel  intervening  between  the  sources  of  those 
distant  streams  and  the  head  of  the  delta.  It  is  a 

1  "  Mississippi  and  Ohio  Rivers,"  by  Charles  Ellet,  Jr. 



part  of  the  natural  order  of  events  that  these  great 
rivers  should  discharge  successively.  But  when,  under 
circumstances  over  which  there  exists  no  control,  the 
ordinary  order  of  successive  discharge  is  changed  for 
a  simultaneous  pouring  out  of  all  the  tributaries,  then 
comes  the  "year  of  great  waters,"  like  1785,  1811, 
1823,  1826,  1844,  1858,  and  1881. 

The  first  unusual  rise  of  the  Mississippi  River  of 
which  we  have  any  account  took  place  in  1542.  In 
March  of  that  year,  while  De  Soto  and  his  followers 
were  at  an  Indian  village  on  the  western  side  of  the 
"  Rio  Grande,"  as  the  early  Spaniards  called  the  Mis- 
sissippi, which  from  its  elevated  description  indicates 
the  site  of  Helena,  in  Arkansas,  there  was  a  rise  in 
the  river  which  covered  all  the  surrounding  country 
as  far  as  the  eye  could  reach.  In  the  village  (repre- 
sented to  have  been  on  high  ground)  the  water  rose 
from  five  to  six  feet  above  the  earth,  and  the  roofs  of 
the  Indian  cabins  were  the  only  places  of  shelter. 
The  river  remained  at  this  height  for  several  days, 
and  then  subsided  rapidly. 

The  earliest  authentic  account  of  the  American 
Bottom  being  submerged  is  that  of  the  flood  of  1724. 
A  document  is  to  be  found  in  the  archives  of  Kaskaskia, 
which  consists  of  a  petition  to  the  crown  of  France, 
in  1725.  for  a  grant  of  land,  in  which  the  damage 
sustained  the  preceding  year  (1724)  by  the  rise  of 
the  water  is  mentioned.  The  villagers  were  driven 
to  the  bluffs  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  Kaskaskia 
River,  their  gardens  and  corn-fields  were  destroyed, 
and  their  buildings  and  property  much  injured.  We 
have  no  evidence  of  its  exact  height,  but  the  whole 
American  Bottom  was  submerged.  This  was  proba- 
bly in  June. 

There  was  a  tradition  among  the  old  French  peo- 
ple many  years  since  that  there  was  an  extraordinary 
rise  of  the  river  between  1740  and  1750,  but  we  find 
no  written  or  printed  account  of  it. 

In  the  year  1772  another  flood  came,  and  portions 
of  the  American  Bottom  were  again  covered.  Fort 
Chartres,  in  1756,  stood  half  a  mile  from  the  Missis-  j 
sippi  River;  in  1776  it  was  eighty  yards.  Two  years 
after,  Capt.  Pittman,  who  surveyed  the  fort  in  1768, 
states, — 

"  The  bank  of  the  Mississippi  next  the  fort  is  continually  fall- 
ing in,  being  worn  away  by  the  current,  which  has  been  turned 
from  its  course  by  a  sand-bank,  now  increased  to  a  considerable 
island  covered  with  willows.  Many  experiments  have  been 
tried  to  stop  this  growing  evil,  but  to  no  purpose.  Eight  years 
ago  the  river  was  fordable  to  the  island;  the  channel  is  now 
forty  feet  deep." 

About  the  year  1770  the  river  made  further  en- 
croachments, but  in  1772,  when  it  inundated  portions 
of  the  American  Bottom,  it  swept  away  the  land  to 

the  fort  and  undermined  the  wall  on  that  side,  which 
tumbled  into  the  river.  A  large  and  heavily-timbered 
island  now  occupies  the  "  sand-bar"  of  Capt.  Pittman's 
time,  between  which  and  the  site  of  the  fort  a  slough 

The  next  period  of  extreme  high  water  was  in  1785, 
during  which  Kaskaskia,  Cahokia,  and  large  portions 
of  the  American  Bottom  were  submerged.  Concern- 
ing this  great  inundation  we  have  but  meagre  infor- 
mation. This  year,  however,  is  known  in  the  annals 
of  Western  history  as  Fannee  des  grandes  eaux, — 
the  year  of  the  great  waters.  In  1844  it  was  con- 
tended by  some  of  the  old  inhabitants  of  Kaskaskia 
and  Cahokia,  who  remembered  the  great  flood  of 
1785,  that  the  water  attained  a  greater  height  then 
than  in  the  last-mentioned  year.  It  is  certain  that  at 
Kaskaskia  the  water  attained  a  greater  height  in  1844 
than  was  reached  in  1785.  This  is  not  predicated 
upon  the  mere  recollections  of  individuals,  but  was 
ascertained  from  existing  marks  of  the  height  of  the 
flood  of  that  year  after  the  subsidence  of  the  water 
in  1844.  It  was  then  proved  that  in  this  last-men- 
tioned year  the  water  rose  two  feet  and  five  inches 
above  the  high-water  mark  of  1785.  The  destruction 
of  property  by  this  freshet  was  comparatively  small. 
The  mighty  stream  spread  over  a  wilderness  tenanted 
only  by  wild  beasts  and  birds,  and  the  few  inhabitants 
then  residing  within  the  range  of  its  destructive 
sweep  easily  escaped  with  small  loss  to  the  highlands. 
Gen.  Edgar  once  said  that  in  Kaskaskia  the  water 
rose  to  the  surface  of  the  door-sill  of  the  house  of  the 
late  Robert  Morrison,  but  that  in  one  place,  where  the 
court-house  stood  a  few  years  since,  the  ground  was 
above  the  water.  That  season  the  inhabitants  passed 
by  means  of  water-craft  through  the  prairies  and  lakes 
from  Cahokia  to  Kaskaskia.  This  flood  destroyed  all 
the  crops,  and  did  much  damage  about  the  French 
villages  on  the  American  Bo.ttom. 

There  were  high  waters  so  as  to  overflow  the  low 
grounds  and  fill  the  lakes  and  sloughs  on  the  Ameri- 
can Bottom  at  other  seasons  subsequent  to  1785,  but 
none  that  deserve  attention  until  that  of  1811.  It 
was  in  the  summer  preceding  the  "  shakes,"  as  the 
earthquakes  were  called. 

This  flood  resulted  in  part  from  the  annual  rise  of 
the  Missouri,  as  did  the  ones  previously  noticed.  The 
flood  in  the  Missouri  always  occurs  between  the  15th 
and  30th  of  June,  and  is  caused  by  the  snows  melt- 
ing in  the  mountains  at  the  heads  of  the  main  Mis- 
souri. In  some  seasons  the  Yellowstone,  which  is  in 
a  more  southern  latitude,  pours  out  a  flood  which 
reaches  St.  Louis  about  the  last  of  May  or  1st  of 



In  1811  the  Mississippi  River  commenced  rising 
early  in  May,  and  by  the  15th  the  water  had  spread 
over  a  large  portion  of  the  American  Bottom.  The 
water  began  to  subside,  and  by  the  1st  of  June  was 
only  over  the  banks  in  low  places.  By  the  6th  of 
June  the  river  again  commenced  rising,  and  continued 
to  rise  until  the  14th,  when  it  came  to  a  stand.  At 
this  time  the  greater  part  of  the  American  Bottom 
was  under  water,  and  Kaskaskia,  Cahokia,  Prairie  du 
Pont,  Cantien,  and  nearly  all  the  settlements  in  the 
bottom  were  inundated,  and  the  inhabitants  had  fled 
to  the  high  lands. 

The  "  common  fields"  belonging  to  Ste.  Genevieve 
were  on  the  bottom  land  adjacent  to  the  river,  much 
of  which  has  since  been  swept  away,  the  steamboats 
now  running  over  the  same  spot.  The  water  entirely 
submerged  the  field,  and  nearly  covered  the  growing 
corn.  A  story  is  still  narrated  by  the  oldest  inhab- 
itants that  at  the  time  of  the  flood  some  of  the 
panic-stricken  inhabitants  waited  on  Father  Maxwell, 
the  village  priest,  to  "  pray  away  the  water."  It  is 
said  he  gave  no  direct  encouragement  at  first,  until  he 
perceived  the  water  at  a  stand,  when  he  proposed  to 
the  corn-growers  to  drive  off  the  waters  by  saying 
masses  for  a  share  of  all  the  corn  they  raised.  The 
bargain  was  struck,  the  masses  were  said,  and  the 
waters  suddenly  retired  from  their  fields.  The  ground 
was  soon  dry  and  in  good  order,  the  corn  looked  green, 
and  the  priest,  it  is  said,  shared  in  the  luxuriant 

There  was  considerable  destruction  of  property  by 
this  freshet,  and  a  great  many  cattle  drowned.  The 
height  attained  by  the  water  during  this  freshet  has 
never  been  precisely  ascertained.  But  it  is  believed 
that  the  flood  was  not  so  great  as  that  during  Vannee 
des  grandes  eaux. 

The  flood  of  1811  was  much  greater  than  any  that 
followed  until  1823,  when  a  sudden  change  in  the 
temperature  after  a  winter  when  the  snowfall  was 
unprecedentedly  heavy  throughout  the  Northwest  and 
the  fall  of  very  heavy  rains  caused  the  Mississippi  to 
commence  rising  rapidly  about  the  8th  of  May,  1823. 
It  continued  to  rise  rapidly  until  the  23d  of  the 
month,  when  it  came  to  a  stand.  At  that  time  the 
water  entirely  covered  the  American  Bottom,  and  the 
citizens  of  Kaskaskia,  Cahokia,  Cantien,  French  Vil- 
lage, Wood  River,  Madison,  and  other  settlements 
had  been  compelled  to  abandon  their  homes  and  seek 
refuge  on  the  bluffs  and  in  St.  Louis.  The  houses  in 
the  lower  part  of  St.  Louis  were  surrounded  by  water. 
The  Levee  was  submerged,  and  the  river  rose  to  the 
lower  room  in  the  old  store  at  the  foot  of  Oak  Street 
(then  kept  by  John  Shackford)  about  five  feet.  The 

water  overflowed  all  the  low  grounds  about  East  St. 

The  loss  of  cattle  was  very  great,  and  the  farmers 
suffered  heavily  throughout  the  American  Bottom. 
The  high  land  about  where  that  part  of  East  St. 
Louis  known  as  Papstown  is  now  built,  and  la  bate 
d  renard,  or  the  Fox  Mound,  which  had  escaped  sub- 
mersion during  the  flood  of  Tannee  des  grandes 
eaux,  were  the  only  dry  ground  in  the  American 
Bottom,  except  some  mounds  whose  tops  were  of 
no  great  extent.  In  this,  as  in  the  flood  of  1811, 
there  exists  no  means  of  ascertaining  the  height  which 
the  river  attained,  nor  are  there  the  means  of  as- 
certaining the  amount  of  destruction  which  was  ac- 
complished by  this  great  freshet. 

The  season  of  1826  was  characterized  by  tremen- 
dous rainfalls  throughout  the  whole  Northwest,  and 
the  Mississippi  was  very  high  throughout  the  spring 
from  about  the  15th  of  April.  Towards  the  close  of 
May  the  river  had  overflowed  its  banks  and  spread  for 
miles  over  the  country.  By  the  8th  of  June  Cahokia, 
Kaskaskia,  Prairie  du  Pont,  Cantien,  and  the  common 
fields  of  Ste.  Genevieve  were  submerged.  The  loss 
of  stock  and  other  property  was  very  great.  The  in- 
habitants of  the  "  bottoms"  sought  refuge  either  on 
the  bluffs  back  in  Illinois  or  among  the  hills  of  Mis- 
souri, or  in  St.  Louis.  There  is,  so  far  as  we  can 
ascertain,  no  record  left  of  the  height  attained  this 
year  by  the  water  in  the  river.  The  river  came  to  a 
stand  on  the  10th  of  the  month,  and  on  the  llth  was 
falling  rapidly.  By  the  25th  the  river  had  reached 
an  ordinary  stage, — the  great  flood  had  been  lost  in 
the  vast  volume  of  waters  of  the  gulf. 

The  winter  of  1843—44  was  not  one  of  unusual 
severity,  though  there  were  tremendous  snow-storms 
throughout  the  Northwest.  The  winter  broke  up 
early  in  May,  but  the  weather  continued  cool,  and  the 
spring  was  characterized  by  the  severest  rain-storms 
ever  known  in  the  Northwest.  Early  in  the  season 
the  river  began  to  rise,  and  by  the  1st  of  May  was 
full  almost  to  overflowing.  The  population  of  Mis- 
souri and  Illinois  had  greatly  increased,  farming  had 
improved  the  soil  and  largely  facilitated  the  drainage 
of  the  land.  Towns  and  settlements  had  sprung  up 
everywhere,  and  along  the  river-banks  centres  of  popu- 
lation had  gathered  and  garnered  great  wealth. 

1  Many  of  the  citizens  of  St.  Louis  recollect  when  the  east 
bank  of  the  river  opposite  Oak  Street  was  where  the  island  now 
is,  which  was  farther  up  the  river  and  nearer  the  St.  Louis 
shore.  There  was  a  village  of  some  twenty  small  houses  at  and 
above  where  the  dike  joins  the  island,  and  a  ferry  of  the  French 
fashion  (two  canoes  with  a  light  platform  over  them)  crossed 
the  river  from  that  village  to  the  foot  of  Oak  Street. 



When,  therefore,  they  saw  the  mighty  rivers  bank-  , 
full  in  April  they  were  not  alarmed ;   and  when  on 
the  3d  of  May  the  great  streams  began  to  recede,  all  ! 
fear  passed  away  with  the  decline  in  the  volume  of 
the  waters.     But  thick  clouds  gathered,  and  deluges  ; 
of  water  were  poured  out  over  the  face  of  the  whole 
country.1     Little  brooks  became  swollen  creeks,  and 
small  creeks  great  rivers,  and  little  rivers  great  floods, 
all  pouring  into  the  mighty  Missouri  and  Mississippi 
their  vast  contributions  to  the  overwhelming  waters 
that  rose  above  the  barriers  which  confined  them  and 
deluged  the  fairest  part  of  the  great  West. 

By  the  10th  of  May  the  river  began  rising,  and  by 
the  16th  the  flood  began  to  create  alarm  at  St.  Louis.  ; 
The  Republican  of  the  17th  of  May  calls  it  "  a  tre-  ; 
mendous  flood,"  and  adds, — 

"  The  waters  were  coming  down  upon  us  from  every  quarter. 
The  Mississippi  is  now  as  high  as  it  has  been  known  for  many 
•years,  and  is  still  rising.  Just  above  Oak  Street  it  was  last  i 
evening  within  six  or  eight  feet  of  touching  the  curbstone. 
The  cellars  all  above  the  wharf  are  filling  with  water.  It  was 
still  rising  last  evening  at  the  rate  of  twelve  inches  in  twenty- 
four  hours,  and  this  notwithstanding  an  immense  volume  of 
water  is  pouring  over  the  Illinois  shore.  The  whole  of  the 
American  Bottom,  from  Alton  to  Kaskaskia,  will  be,  we  fear, 
submerged.  The  people  are  deserting  their  homes  in  Illinois 

The  river  continued  to  rise  throughout  the  18th, 
19th,  and  20th,  reaching  the  doors  of  the  stores  on 
Front  Street  north  of  Pine,  and  extending  to  the 
Pap  house  on  the  Illinois  side,  a  distance  of  two  and 
a  half  miles.  The  merchants  on  Front  Street  had  all 
been  compelled  to  move  their  stock  of  goo'ds  into  the  j 
second  stories.  The  waters  came  to  a  stand  on  the 
21st,  with  prospects  of  a  decline,  which  began  rapidly 
on  the  23d,  and  continued  until  the  river  was  again  j 
within  its  banks  on  the  7th  of  June.  But  the  flood 
from  the  Missouri  was  coming  down.  From  the  3d  '• 
to  the  10th  of  June  there  was  a  continued  succession 
of  the  most  terrible  rain-storms  ever  witnessed.  These 
tremendous  rains  were  general  throughout  the  North- 
west. The  Mississippi  again  commenced  rising  at  St. 
Louis  on  the  8ch  of  June.  The  rise  was  steady,  though 
not  alarmingly  rapid.  The  upper  Mississippi,  Illinois, 
Missouri,  Des  Moines,  Gasconade,  Osage,  Kaw,  Platte, 
and  all  the  tributaries  were  pouring  out  their  floods. 

Steadily,  slowly,  but  inexorably  the  great  floods  from 
the  prairies,  hills,  and  mountains  came  sweeping  down 
to  the  lower  valleys.  Before  the  12th  of  the  month 
the  river  was  again  breaking  over  the  banks  in  places. 

By  the  15th  the  floods  began  to  alarm  the  people  of 
the  valley,  and  "  the  great  flood  of  1844"  had  com- 
menced its  devastations. 

There  were  five  hundred  persons  in  St.  Louis  who 
were  driven  from  their  homes  by  this  flood.2 

At  Bon  Secour  there  were  camped,  all  in  open  camps, 
one  hundred  and  twenty-two  persons.  Several  of  these 
families  left  their  homes  with  from  four  to  nine  chil- 
dren, and  with  less  than  fifty  pounds  of  flour  and  a 
small  quantity  of  meat. 

The  water  covered  all  of  Illinoistown,  rose  above  the 
first  story  of  the  houses,  and  reached  within  a  few 
inches  of  the  height  attained  in  the  freshets  of  1823 
and  1826.  A  considerable  portion  of  the  curbstones 
on  Water  Street  were  covered,  and  the  water  was  run- 
ning into  the  lower  stories  of  the  houses  of  Battle  Row, 
corner  of  Laurel  Street. 

All  the  rivers  above  were  reported  to  be  rising,  but 
the  principal  rise  was  from  the  Missouri,  said  to  be 
the  June  freshet  from  the  mountains.  The  Missouri, 
the  upper  Mississippi,  and  the  Illinois,  and  their  trib- 
utaries were  overflowing  their  banks  and  rising  rapidly, 
spreading  destruction  and  consternation  among  the  in- 
habitants of  the  bottoms,  whose  losses  were  very  great. 
Many  of  their  farms  were  completely  under  water,  and 
their  crops  were  entirely  destroyed,  and  their  stock 
either  carried  off  by  the  flood  or  scattered  over  the 

The  Illinois  River  was  within  six  inches  of  the  high- 
water  mark  of  the  great  flood  that  occurred  seventeen 
years  before,  and  at  Naples  it  had  overflowed  the  bank 
and  the  streets  were  under  water. 

On  June  17th  the  river  was  about  six  inches  higher 
than  the  water- mark  of  the  month  before.  North  of 
Locust  Street,  on  Front  Street,  and  above  Vine  Street 
the  water  rose  over  the  sidewalks  and  into  many  of 
the  stores,  forcing  the  merchants  to  carry  their  dam- 
ageable goods  into  the  second  stories,  and  to  place  the 
remainder  on  shelves  and  counters.  On  the  18th  the 
steamer  "  Missouri  Mail"  brought  the  alarming  news 
of  a  great  rise  in  the  Missouri,  which  on  the  13th  was 
rising  at  St.  Joseph  at  the  rate  of  seven  feet  in  twenty- 
four  hours. 

The  whole  country  between  Weston  and  Glasgow 
was  under  water.  Camden  Bottom  was  covered  to  a 
depth  of  six  to  eight  feet.  The  officers  of  the  "  Mail" 

1  It  rained  continually  for  ten  days.  According  to  the  esti- 
mate made*  by  Dr.  B.  B.  Brown,  the  quantity  of  rainfall  was 
nine  inches,  being  a  greater  quantity  than  that  of  the  whole  of 
the  year  1843. 

2  "  Nearly  all  the  people  of  Brooklyn,  Venice,  Cahokia,  and 
Six-Mile  Prairie  and  other  points  along  the  river-banks  are  in 
the  city.  In  the  vicinity  of  Anderson's  Mill,  in  the  upper  part 
of  the  city,  there  are  upwards  of  fifty  families  and  more  than 
two  hundred  persons,  many  of  whom  are  destitute,  and  all  are 
without  shelter,  except  such  temporary  covering  as  they  have 
been  able  to  erect." — Republican,  June  24. 



spent  nearly  one  entire  day  in  relieving  and  saving 
those  who  were  in  danger,  and  the  accounts  they  related 
were  peculiarly  distressing  ;  quite  a  number  of  persons 
were  missing,  many  of  whom  were  doubtless  lost. 
Cattle  in  large  numbers  were  seen  floating  down 
amidst  the  drift,  their  heads  only  visible.  Many 
houses  were  also  seen  floating  on  the  flood. 

The    editorial    of  the  Republican  of  June  19th 

"We  have  taken  some  pains  to  ascertain  with  certainty  the 
height  of  the  present  rise  in  the  river  compared  with  former 
freshets.  We  have  been  very  unsuccessful.  Within  the  memory 
of  many  of  the  oldest  inhabitants  there  have  been  three  extra- 
ordinary freshets, — one  in  1811,  one  in  1823,  and  the  last  in  1826. 
If  there  were  any  others,  we  have  not  been  able  to  learn  the  par- 
ticulars. The  freshet  of  1811  appears  to  have  been  the  highest. 
That  year  the  Ste.  Genevieve  common  fields,  and  in  fact  the 
whole  bottom,  was  covered  with  water.  Boats  passed  with  ease 
to  and  from  Ste.  Genevieve  to  Kaskaskia.  There  is  a  great  dif- 
ference of  opinion  as  to  the  height  attained  by  the  water  in  1826. 
Some  say  it  was  higher  than  now ;  others  insist  that  at  present 
the  water  is  higher  than  during  that  year." 

On  Thursday,  the  20th,  the  Mississippi  was  from 
three  to  six  miles  wide,  and  in  many  places  nine. 
It  covered  all  Front  Street  and  the  sidewalk  ;  it  was 
over  the  boilers  in  Cathcart's  mill,  and  the  steamer 
"  Lightner"  was  resting  her  bow  against  the  front  of 
Henry  N.  Davis'  store  at  the  corner  of  Front  and 
Morgan  Streets.  The  water  was  up  along  Battle  Row 
nearly  to  the  door-hatches.  At  J.  &  E.  Walsh's  store, 
corner  of  Vine  and  Front  Streets,  the  water  was  up  to 
within  about  fourteen  inches  of  the  locks  on  the  doors. 
At  the  corner  of  Pine  and  Front  Streets  it  was  just  up  to 
the  top  of  the  sill  of  the  door  of  Mr.  Collins'  warehouse. 
At  Market  Street  it  was  between  nine  and  ten  inches 
below  the  sill  of  the  east  door  of  Coons  &  Gallagher's 
store.  The  lower  part  of  the  city,  in  the  vicinity  of 
Mill  Creek,  was  all  submerged.  The  water  covered 
Second  Street  below  the  bridge.  Mr.  Stiles  and  most 
of  the  people  in  that  quarter,  especially  along  Convent 
Street,  removed,  and  the  communication  was  main- 
tained by  means  of  boats. 

Several  houses  up  in  the  direction  of  the  dam  were 
several  feet  under  water.  Of  course  all  the  low  lands 
in  Soulard's  addition  and  St.  George's  were  overflowed. 

On  the  Illinois  side  everything  was  under  water ; 
at  Cahokia  the  inhabitants  were  forced  to  flee  to  the 
bluffs,  and  several  houses  in  Illinoistown  were  moved 
from  their  foundations,  and  some  overturned. 

The  "  Indiana,"  which  made  fast  at  the  door  of  the 
female  academy,  brought  up  from  Kaskaskia  the  Sis- 
ters of  Charity  at  the  convent  and  the  priests  con- 
nected with  the  church  at  that  place,  and  several  fam- 
ilies and  such  furniture  as  they  had  saved.  The  town 
was  from  ten  to  twenty  feet  under  water.  Several 

dwelling-houses  that  were  most  exposed  to  the  cur- 
rent of  the  river,  together  with  many  barns,  stables, 
and  outhouses,  were  swept  away. 

The  city  engineer,  about  twelve  o'clock  on  the  22d, 
ascertained  that  the  water  was  over  the  city  direc- 
trix, the  curbstone  on  Front  Street,  east  of  the  mar- 
ket-house, three  feet  four  inches.  This  gave  thirty- 
four  feet  nine  inches  plumb  water  above  low-water 
mark.  From  half-past  seven  o'clock  on  Thursday 
morning  until  half-past  seven  Friday  evening  the  rise 
was  seventeen  inches.  This  was  an  immense  and  un- 
paralleled rise,  and  can  only  be  properly  estimated 
when  the  whole  width  of  the  river  is  considered.  In 
many  places  it  was  from  ten  to  fifteen  miles  wide.  In 
Second  Street  the  water  extended  from  Hazel  to  the 
junction  of  Second  and  Fifth -Streets,  being  in  some 
places  from  four  to  five  feet  deep.  The  low  land  in 
front  and  all  the  low  lands  between  Second  and 
Third  and  Fifth  Streets  were  several  feet  under  water. 

On  June  22d  the  editor  of  the  RepuUican 

"took  a  trip  across  the  river  in  the  row-boat  '  Ripple,'  a  boat 
which  is  owned  and  manned  by  a  company  of  young  gentle- 
men, amateur  boatmen,  and  had  a  most  pleasant  time  of  it.  We 
left  the  foot  of  Market  Street  and  crossed  to  the  ferry  landing. 
From  thence  we  passed  over  several  streets  of  Illinoistown,  and 
to  '  Old  Pap's  house,'  a  mile  and  a  half  from  the  ferry  landing. 
Thence  we  rowed  through  a  corn-field  and  an  oat-field  to  the 
railroad,  passed  along  it  some  distance  and  through  another 
field  to  the  big  lake  near  the  Pittsburgh  coal-mines,  a  distance 
of  about  nine  miles.  On  our  return  we  crossed  to  the  east  side 
of  Bloody  Island,  and  passed  round  the  head  of  the  island. 
Everywhere  we  witnessed  the  destruction  of  whole  crops,  the 
year's  subsistence  of  the  farmer  and  his  family." 

For  the  'twenty-four  hours  of  Sunday,  June  23d, 
the  water  rose  fourteen  inches,  and  reached  the  climax 
of  the  flood,  where  it  remained  nearly  stationary  until 
the  28th,  when  it  commenced  receding.  In  order  to 
relieve  the  needs  of  the  destitute  the  City  Council  by 
ordinance  placed  one  thousand  dollars  at  the  disposi- 
tion of  the  mayor  and  other  officers.  The  number 
encamped  was  as  follows:  At  Bon  Secour,  122;  at 
Mr.  Cremer's,  45 ;  at  John  Cohen's,  18  ;  at  John 
Sharp's,  5  ;  at  Game's,  21 ;  at  Falling  Spring,  31  ;  at 
Edward  Hebert's,  4 ;  at  Prairie  du  Pont,  41  ;  at  Jo- 
seph Boismenen's,  40;  at  the  Grand  Marias  Pass,  40 

The  water  continued  to  recede  with  great  rapidity. 
By  the  middle  of  July  the  river  had  reached  an  or- 
dinary stage.  The  weather  became  settled,  the 
atmosphere  void  of  moisture.  July,  August,  and 
September  proved  very  dry,  and  before  the  close  of  the 
season  the  river  had  reached  an  exceedingly  low  stage.1 

1  The  following  interesting  account  of  the  great  flood  of  18-14 
was  written  in  July  of  the  same  year  by  the  late  Dr.  B.  W. 
Brooks.,  of  Jonesboro',  111. : 



The  long-continued  and  ruinous  flood  of  1851  did  newspapers  of  St.  Louis  of  May  29,  1851.  Two 
not  begin  to  attract  particular  attention  until  "  fearful  days  after  the  river  began  to  rise  rapidly  at  St.  Louis, 
accounts  of  the  rise  in  the  upper  Mississippi,"  the  I  and  by  sundown  of  the  30th  was  fifteen  feet  eight 
river  being  over  its  banks  in  many  places,  reached  the 

"  The  Mississippi,  being  at  a  good  boating  stage  of  water, 
commenced  rising  rapidly  on  the  18th  day  of  May,  1844,  and 
continued  rising  at  the  rate  of  from  two  feet  to  thirty  inches 
every  twenty-four  hours  until  the  first  day  of  June,  at  which 
time  it  was  within  eighteen  inches  of  high-water  mark  in  the 
years  1811  and  1826.  It  then  commenced  falling  gradually 
until  the  10th  of  June,  at  which  time  it  had  fallen  some  five  or 
six  feet,  so  as  to  leave  all  the  farms  free  from  water,  which 
were  previously  about  half  covered  with  water  generally,  with 
the  exception  of  Jacob  Treese's  farm  and  a  few  others.  This 
rise  was  presumed  to  come  out  of  the  Mississippi  lliver.  On 
the  llth  of  June  the  Missouri  flood  came  down,  and  the  Mis- 
sissippi commenced  rising  again,  and  continued  to  rise  at  the 
rate  of  from  one  foot  to  eighteen  inches  every  twenty-four 
hours  until  it  inundated  the  entire  bottom,  covering  every 
farm  in  it  from  eighteen  to  thirty  feet,  that  being  the  depth  of 
soundings  on  the  road  from  Jonesboro'  to  Littleton's  old  ferry, 
and  to  Willard's  ferry.  Horses,  cattle,  sheep,  and  hogs  were 
destroyed  in  vast  numbers,  notwithstanding  every  exertion 
was  used  by  the  benevolent  and  enterprising  citizens  through- 
out the  county.  Wood-boats,  ferry-flats,  canoes,  and  skiffs,  and 
divers  rafts  or  other  crafts,  made  upon  the  spur  of  the  moment, 
were  employed  in  collecting  and  boating  the  stock  and  house- 
hold property  of  the  alarmed  and  distressed  citizens  to  the 
high  lands.  Many  of  the  citizens  living  near  the  banks  on 
the  Illinois  shore  fled  with  their  families  in  consternation  to 
the  Missouri  shore,  leaving  all  their  horses,  cattle,  and  house- 
hold effects  to  their  fate.  This  latter  rise  and  overflow  of  the 
river  continued  until  the  29th  of  June,  when  it  came  to  a 
stand,  the  citizens  having  in  a  great  degree  made  an  end  of 
removing  the  effects  of  the  suffering  inhabitants  to  the  neigh- 
boring hills.  On  the  1st  of  July  the  waters  began  greatly  to 
recede,  and  continued  to  fall  until  ...  it  became  confined 
within  the  banks  of  the  river.  It  is  worthy  of  remark  that 
about  one-half  of  the  houses  in  the  Mississippi  Bottom  were 
removed  from  their  foundations;  all  the  fences  wholly  removed 
and  washed  away.  All  the  warehouses  on  the  bank  fell  into 
the  river,  and  many  dwelling-houses  shared  a  like  fate. 

"  This  inundation  was  ten  or  twelve  feet  higher  than  that  of 
1811,  or  of  1826,  and  higher  than  ever  known,  except  in  1785, 
when  it  rose  thirty  feet  above  the  common  level,  and  from  the 
reports  recorded  in  Beck's 'History  of  Illinois  and  Missouri,' 
it  was  the  greatest  flood  known  during  the  last  one  hundred  and 
fifty  years,  at  which  period  the  Mississippi  washed  in  a  part*of 
Fort  Chartres.  Mr.  Cerre,  the  oldest  French  settler  in  St. 
Louis,  says  the  inundation  of  the  Mississippi  and  Missouri  was 
not  as  high  by  some  four  or  five  feet  in  1785  as  it  was  this 
year,  1844,  and  all  the  old  settlers  of  Kaskaskia  agree  in 
saying  that  the  overflow  of  1785  left  one  dry  spot  in  the  town 
of  Kaskaskia,  which  was  covered  in  1844  with  water  five  feet 
deep.  The  steamer  '  Indiana'  was  chartered  by  the  nuns  to 
take  the  pupils  of  the  nunnery  to  St.  Louis,  and  received  them 
on  board  at  Col.  Menard's  door,  and  passed  along  the  road  to 
St.  Louis,  on  which  there  was  from  six  to  fifteen  feet  of  water, 
leaving  the  river  far  to  the  left  the  whole  route.  Some  two 
hundred  citizens  went  up  from  Kaskaskia  on  the  '  Indiana,' 
and  about  three  hundred  found  shelter  on  the  premises  of  Col. 
Men»rd,  and  many  more  spread  their  tents  along  the  bluffs. 

"  Millions  of  dollars  will  not  cover  the  loss  sustained  by  this 
flood  in  the  States  of  Illinois  and  Missouri.  Some  of  the  most 

inches  below  the  high-water  mark  of  1844,  as  marked 

valuable  farms  in  those  two  States  have  been  rendered  worth- 
less for  several  years.  The  whole  American  Bottom  from  Alton 
to  Cairo  was  submerged,  containing  seven  hundred  square 
miles  of  the  finest  land  in  the  world.  La  Bute  si  Renard  was 
the  only  point  of  land  out  of  water  in  1785  :  so  says  the  St. 
Louis  Kepiiblicmi. 

"  The  great  flood  was  occasioned  by  the  swelling  of  the  north- 
ern rivers  which  empty  into  the  Missouri  and  upper  Mississippi, 
and  by  the  melting  of  the  snow  on  the  eastern  declivity  of  the 
Rocky  Mountains. 

"  The  Spanish  and  Portuguese  historians  of  De  Soto's  maraud- 
ing expedition  tell  us  that  in  March,  1542,  all  the  high  grounds 
on  the  west  side  of  the  Mississippi,  from  the  mouth  of  the  Ohio 
to  Red  River,  were  submerged  several  feet.  There  is  a  docu- 
ment in  the  clerk's  office  of  Randolph  County,  111.,  at  Kaskiiskia, 
dated  1725,  soliciting  a  grant  of  lots  and  lands  from  the  crown 
of  France,  and  urging  as  a  reason  the  'great  flood'  of  the 
preceding  year,  1724,  which  overflowed  the  village,  destroyed 
the  houses,  and  drove  the  inhabitants  to  the  bluffs. 

"The  bottom  lands  along  the  Mississippi  from  Alton  to  Cairo, 
at  the  mouth  of  the  Ohio,  average  five  miles  in  width.  Since 
the  Mississippi  was  first  discovered  by  Europeans,  the  waters 
had  passed  over  all  the  low  grounds  from  bluff  to  bluff 
several  times.  In  1785  this  bottom  was  covered,  and  small 
boats  passed  from  St.  Louis  to  Kaskaskia  over  the  land.  In 
1811,  at  the  annual  June  rise  of  the  Missouri,  a  part  of  the 
American  Bottom  and  the  common  fields  of  Ste.  Genevieve 
were  inundated.  In  1826  the  river  inundated  the  town  of 
Illinois,  opposite  St.  Louis,  and  also  the  lowlands  along  the 
American  Bottom,  but  not  as  high  by  ten  feet  as  this  flood  of 
1844.  The  flood  at  St.  Louis  attained  its  greatest  height  on 
the  24th  of  June,  1844,  and  was  thirty-eight  feet  seven  inches 
above  low-water  mark  at  that  city." 

William  L.  Murfree,  Sr.,  gives  a  graphic  description  of  the 
flood  of  1844  in  Scribner's  Mayazine :  "The  shallowest  water, 
for  indefinite  miles  in  any  direction,  was  two  feet  deep,  the 
nearest  land  'the  hills  of  the  Arkansaw,' thirty  miles  away. 
The  mules  were  quartered  on  the  upper  floor  of  the  gin-house ; 
the  cattle  had  all  been  drowned  long  ago ;  planter,  negro,  and 
overseer  were  confined  to  their  respective  domiciles;  the  grist- 
mill was  under  water,  and  there  was  no  means  of  preparing 
corn  for  culinary  purposes  except  a  wooden  hominy  mortar. 
The  hog-and-hominy  diet  (so  highly  extolled  by  some  people 
who  have  never  lived  on  it)  was  adopted  of  necessity,  the 
former  being  represented  by  mess-pork  salter  than  tongue  can 
tell.  There  were  no  visitors,  except  now  and  then  a  sociable 
snake,  which,  no  doubt,  bored  by  swimming  around  indefinitely 
in  the  overflow,  and  craving  even  human  companionship,  would 
glide  up  on  the  gallery  of  some  of  the  houses.  There  was  no 
means  of  locomotion  except  the  skiff  and  the  humble  but 
ever  serviceable  '  dugout,' nowhere  to  go,  and  nobody  within 
a  day's  journey  otherwise  or  more  comfortably  situated.  The 
only  sense  of  sympathy  from  without  was  had  from  remote  and 
infrequent  glimpses  of  the  gallant  steamer  '  J.  M.  White,' 
which,  leaping  from  point  to  point,  made  better  time  from  New 
Orleans  to  St.  Louis  than  was  ever  made  before  or  for  many 
years  after.  That  year  nineteen  plantations  out  of  twenty  failed 
to  produce  a  single  pound  of  cotton  or  a  single  bushel  of  corn, 
and  when  the  flood  was  over  and  the  swamp  Noahs  came  out  of 
their  respective  arks,  they  were,  to  say  the  least,  malcontent." 



on  the  column  in  front  of  the  Centre  Market,  and 
eight  feet  and  one-half  inch  below  the  city  directrix, 
or  the  curbstone  at  the  corner  of  Market  Street  and 
the  Levee.  The  top  of  the  stonework  of  the  dike  is 
two  feet  lower  than  the  city  directrix.  A  large 
portion  of  the  east  side  of  Duncan's  Island,  and  seven 
houses,  and  a  portion  of  the  dike  erected  by  the  city 
between  the  island  and  the  Illinois  shore,  were  washed 
away.  *  About  one  million  feet  of  lumber  from  the 
upper  part  of  the  city  was  also  washed  away.  Through 
almost  all  of  June  the  river  continued  to  rise,  until 
June  23d  it  had  risen  four  feet  nine  and  a  half  inches 
below  the  high-water  mark  of  1844 ;  from  this  date 
the  waters  commenced  to  decline. 

The  desolation  which  visited  the  States  watered  by 
the  Mississippi,  the  Missouri,  the  Wabash,  the  Illinois, 
and  their  tributaries  was  beyond  all  calculation. 

In  1854  the  river  was  very  high,  the  water 
almost  entirely  submerging  the  Levee  at  St.  Louis. 
Great  damage  was  done,  especially  in  the  lower  portion 
of  the  course  of  the  river.  The  destruction  of  property 
was  immense  in  Mississippi,  Arkansas,  and  Louisiana. 

In  1858  the  water  rose  to  a  point  within  about 
two  and  a  half  feet  of  the  flood  of  1844.  Many 
towns  were  inundated,  and  vast  destruction  of  property 
was  effected.  The  water  broke  over  the  levee  at 
Cairo,  111.,  and  completely  submerged  that  city.  The 
water  in  the  Ohio  was  also  very  high.  The  planters 
in  the  delta  and  the  farmers  throughout  the  low 
country  suffered  immense  losses. 

In  1863  the  river  rose  very  high,  and  the  flood 
swept  away  much  property.  The  water  came  into  the 
stores  on  the  Levee  at  St.  Louis.  This  was  the  last 
great  flood  until  1881,  though  the  water  rose  quite 
high  in  1867,  and  again  in  1871  and  1875.  But 
these  floods  did  little  damage  in  the  upper  valley.  In 
Mississippi,  Arkansas,  and  Louisiana  great  destruction 
was  wrought  in  1867, 1871,  and  1875. 

The  flood  of  1881  began  in  May,  and  on  the  4th 
of  that  month,  from  the  foot  of  Anna  Street,  on  the 
St.  Louis  side,  the  only  limit  for  the  water  was  the 
bluff,  three  miles  to  the  east.  East  Carondelet,  as 
the  little  village  opposite  Carondelet  is  called,  was 
flooded  by  the  breaking  of  the  dike  at  the  head  of 
the  island,  and  the  inhabitants  took  their  children  in 
their  arms  and  sought  safety  on  the  high  grounds. 
Many  of  them  crossed  in  the  ferry-boat  and  found 
quarters  in  Carondelet.  Over  a  hundred  persons 
were  thus  rendered  homeless.  From  the  arsenal, 
steamboats  could  be  seen  through  the  willows  which 
were  once  on  the  bank  of  the  river,  plying  in  the 
overflow.  The  width  of  the  river  at  that  point  was 
estimated  at  three  miles. 

The  country  surrounding  the  little  town  of  Venice, 
opposite  the  north  wharf,  was  inundated.  Night- 
fall found  East  St.  Louis  still  exempt  from  inundation, 
but  the  situation  there  was  extremely  critical,  and 
the  alarm  among  the  inhabitants  was  general.  At 
2.35  o'clock,  May  3d,  the  steamboats  lying  along  the 
East  St.  Louis  side  of  the  river  set  up  a  combined 
whistling,  which  conveyed  to  people  on  the  St.  Louis 
side  of  the  river  the  impression  that  the  town  of  East 
St.  Louis  was  in  danger  of  being  swept  away,  but 
whistling  was  the  signal  agreed  on  whenever  the  break 
should  occur  in  the  Madison  County  dike.  Fortunately 
the  alarm,  though  far  from  causeless,  did  not  herald 
such  great  disaster.  A  break  had  occurred  in  the 
Chicago,  Burlington  and  Quincy  Railroad  embank- 
ment, and  a  great  volume  of  water  poured  through  it, 
threatening  to  sweep  down  on  East  St.  Louis  and 
send  the  inhabitants  fleeing  for  their  lives.  The 
water  had  two  courses  to  take, — one  up  Cahokia 
Creek,  where  it  would  do  no  great  damage  immedi- 
ately, the  other  down  the  creek,  where  it  would 
drown  out  East  St.  Louis.  When  the  possibility  of 
the  embankment's  breaking  had  been  canvassed  before- 
hand, there  was  scarcely  any  one  who  did  not  suppose 
that  the  water  would  come  down  the  creek,  but, 
strangely  enough,  it  took  the  other  course,  and  the 
Ohio  and  Mississippi  embankment  for  the  time  kept 
it  away  from  East  St.  Louis. 

The  greatest  actual  damage  which  occurred  in  one 
place  was  the  loss  of  the  bridge,  valued  at  twenty 
thousand  dollars,  across  Cahokia  Creek. 

On  May  5th  the  river  had  risen  half  a  foot  within 
twenty-four  hours,  and  was  above  the  high-water  mark 
of  1876,  and  still  rising.  East  St.  Louis  was  in 
greater  danger  than  ever. 

The  water  on  the  4th  came  near  taking  in  com- 
pletely what  little  of  the  levee-front  it  had  left  the 
day  before.  From  Biddle  Street  to  Locust  sidewalks 
were  only  to  be  seen  in  spots.  From  Washington 
Avenue  to  Locust  the  water  was  running  over  the 
pavement  and  against  the  lintels  of  the  houses.  From 
Spruce  Street  to  Chouteau  Avenue  there  was  no  pas- 
sage for  pedestrians,  and  as  early  as  six  o'clock  in  the 
afternoon  a  skiff  tied  to  the  awning-post  in  front  of  607 
South  Levee  was  floating  over  the  sidewalk  in  a  foot  of 
water.  Between  East  St.  Louis  and  Fish  Lake  thou- 
sands of  acres  of  wheat  were  under  water.  In  East 
Carondelet  there  were  some  sixteen  houses  above 
water,  each  of  which  was  crowded  with  those  whose 
homes  were  submerged. 

The  floods  on  the  Mississippi  of  which  more  par- 
ticular accounts  have  been  given  were  selected  because 
of  the  exceptionally  high  stage  of  the  water,  but  almost 



every  year  witnesses  very  high  water,  and  the  annual 
loss  of  property  is  very  great.  These  constantly  occur- 
ring stages  of  high  water,  in  which  the  flood  wave, 
overleaping  the  banks,  spreads  over  the  adjacent  ! 
country,  have  caused  the  construction  of  artificial 
banks  along  the  tops  of  those  created  by  the  stream 
itself,  and  as  these  new  banks  have  been  extended 
along  both  banks  of  the  river,  they  have  assumed  a 
regular  system  of  protection,  which  is  known  as  the 
levee  system.  This  system,  though  located  on  the 
river  below  St.  Louis,  is  yet  of  very  great  importance 
to  the  trade  and  commerce  of  a  city  whose  situation 
naturally  makes  it  the  great  commercial  capital  of  the 
river-drained  country.  It  was  to  find  "  means  of 
obviating  the  disasters  incident"  to  these  floods,  and 
"  to  prevent  the  overflow  of  these  low  grounds,  or 
swamp  lands  generally,  covering,  as  is  supposed,  nearly 
forty  thousand  square  miles,1  that  the  investigations 
made  by  Charles  Ellet,  Jr.,  were  undertaken. 

"  The  lands  which  are  now  annual!}'  overflowed  may  cer- 
tainly be  estimated  at  fully  1 6,000,000  of  acres,  which,  if  relieved 
by  any  effectual  process,  would  be  worth  at  the  government 
price  $20,000,000 ;  but  converted  as  they  may  be  into  sugar  and 
cotton-fields,  would  possess  a  value  that  it  might  seem  extrava- 
gant to  state,  while  the  annual  loss  and  distress  inflicted  on  the 
present  population  by  the  inundations  of  the  river  can  scarcely 
find  a  parallel  in  many  localities,  excepting  in  the  effects  of  na- 
tional hostilities."  a 

These  levees  extend  on  one  side  or  the  other  about 
eighteen  hundred  miles,  and  represent  in  first  cost  and 
present  value  twenty  million  dollars.  But  even  the 
present  system  is  regarded  as  entirely  inadequate,  for 
the  levees,  which  are  constantly  breaking  or  threatening 
to  break,  protect  but  a  comparatively  small  strip  along 
the  main  stream  and  its  principal  tributaries,  whereas 
by  protection  against  overflow  and  by  proper  drain- 
age an  enormous  expanse  of  what  is  now  waste  swamp 
land  would  be  brought  into  cultivation, — a  stretch  of 
country  beside  which  the  areas  reclaimed  from  the  sea 
in  the  Netherlands  sink  into  insignificance, — while  the 
work  of  reclamation,  gigantic  as  it  would  have  to  be 
in  relation  to  its  results,  in  the  amount  of  time  and 
labor  required,  would  be  comparatively  small  beside 
the  work  of  the  industrious  Dutch.  There  would 
thus  be  rendered  available  along  the  Mississippi  not 

1  "  The  area  is  as  large  as  the  States  of  New  Hampshire,  Ver- 
mont, Massachusetts,  Rhode  Island,  Connecticut,  and  New  Jer- 
sey combined.  Less  than  eight  per  cent,  of  this  area  is  now 
under  cultivation.  It  is  estimated  that  if  protected  and  im- 
proved these  lands  would  be  worth  $2,043,858,251.  As  their 
present  value  is  but  $107,628,833,  the  increase  would  be  a  sum 
nearly  equal  to  the  national  debt.  It  is  therefore  claimed  that 
the  returns  would  justify  the  outlay  of  the  largest  sum  which 
the  improvement  would  be  likely  to  cost." 

*  Ellet's  "  Memoir  on  the  Mississippi  and  Ohio  Rivers,"  p.  27. 

less  than  two  million  five  hundred  thousand  acres 
of  sugar  land,  about  seven  million- acres  of  cotton 
land,  and  one  million  acres  of  corn  land,  all  of  unsur- 
passed fertility.  On  the  eastern  side  of  the  river  is  the 
great  swamp  of  Mississippi,  fifty  miles  wide,  extend- 
ing from  just  below  Memphis  to  Vicksburg,  one  hun- 
dred and  seventy  miles  in  a  direct  line,  and  nearly  four 
hundred  miles  along  the  river.  On  the  other  side  is 
another  vast  and  fertile  region,  embracing  the  lower 
part  of  Missouri,  all  the  alluvial  front  of  Arkansas  and 
of  Louisiana  as  far  down  as  the  mouth  of  the  Red  River. 
This  land  is  not  so  favorably  situated  for  reclamation 
as  that  on  the  eastern  side,  where  there  is  no  tributary 
of  the  Mississippi  until  the  Yazoo  is  reached,  within 
a  few  miles  of  the  Walnut  Hills,  near  Vicksburg. 
But  on  the  west  side  are  a  number  of  tributary 
streams,  themselves  all  liable  to  overflow,  while  all 
are  subject  to  back-water  from  the  Mississippi,  which 
would  make  levees  necessary  as  far  as  the  line  of 
back-water  extends.  Much  fine  land,  however,  has 
been  reclaimed  here,  although  the  line  of  levees  is 
more  fragmentary  than  on  the  other  side.  Below  the 
Red  River  there  are  no  tributaries  entering  the  Mis- 
sissippi, and  on  the  other  hand  the  waters  are  de- 
pleted by  numerous  outlets  to  the  gulf. 

The  levee  system  was  begun  in  Louisiana  in  the 
early  part  of  the  last  century,  but  the  reclamation  of 
swamp  lands  in  Mississippi  and  Arkansas  has  origi- 
nated in  recent  years.  Congress,3  by  a  general  grant 
of  all  the  inundated  lands  to  the  States  in  which  they 
lie,  for  the  express  purpose  of  making  "  the  necessary 
levees  and  drains  to  reclaim  swamp  and  overflowed 
lands,"  offered  inducements  to  the  States,  and  through 
the  States  to  individual  enterprise,  to  commence 
a  vast  system  of  embankment,  with  a  view  to  the 
ultimate  exclusion  of  the  water  of  the  Mississippi 
and  its  great  tributaries  from  all  the  inundated  lands 
upon  their  borders.  To  this  legislation  the  State  of 
Missouri  responded  by  an  appropriation  of  fifty  thou- 
sand dollars  to  begin  the  work  of  reclamation  at  the 
head  of  the  delta,  where  many  hundreds  of  square 
miles  of  inundated  territory  might  be  reclaimed  by 
art,  and  the  land  brought  under  cultivation.  The 
State  of  Arkansas  with  equal  promptness  passed  an 
act  granting  to  all  proprietors  who  may  construct 
front  levees  the  right  to  enter  the  donated  lands  where 
they  may  choose  to  select  them,  in  payment  for  the 
cost  of  the  levees  which  they  might  construct.  The 
Legislature  of  Mississippi,  even  prior  to  the  act  of 
Congress,  gave  authority  to  the  five  northern  counties 
of  that  State  to  levy  a  tax  of  ten  cents  per  acre  on 

8  Act  approved  Sept.  28,  1850. 



all  the  lands  in  each  of  these  counties,  for  the  pur- 
pose of  constructing  front  levees  and  shutting  out  the 
waters  of  the  Mississippi  from  the  great  swamps  ex- 
tending back  to  the  Yazoo.  The  State  of  Louisiana 
was  not  less  prompt  in  this  matter  than  the  other 
States,  and  by  the  incorporation  of  the  Louisiana 
Levee  Company  has  provided  both  authority  and 
power  with  appropriate  means  for  restraining  the 
waters  within  the  banks  of  the  river. 

A  discussion  of  the  wisdom  of  the  levee  system  is 
not  within  the  province  of  this  work,  the  aim  of 
which  is  only  to  relate  what  has  taken  place,  and  not 
to  forecast  what  may  result  from  closing  all  the  nat- 
ural and  existing  outlets  by  which  in  former  years  the 
flood  wave  of  the  Mississippi  found  a  vent.1 

But  it  cannot  be  denied  that  the  reclamation  of  the 
drowned  lands  in  the  Mississippi  valley  will  improve  j 
the  climate  of  a  vast  region  of  country  and  make  it 
more  salubrious,  adding  vastly  to  the  wealth  of  those 
States  by  giving  value  to  the  lands,  and  greatly  in- 
crease their  commercial  resources  by  bringing  im- 
mense regions  of  these  vacant  lands  under  cultivation, 
while  improving  the  navigation  of  the  river.  An 
object  of  so  much  importance  to  the  health  and  pros- 
perity of  so  many  people  in  so  many  States  cannot 
be  without  great  influence  upon  the  trade,  commerce, 
and  prosperity  of  the  city  of  St.  Louis. 

Ferries. — Prior  to  1797  there  was  a  ferry  between 
the  Missouri  and  Illinois  shores,  starting  from  a  point  j 
below  the  town  of  St.  Louis,  but  in  that  year  a  ferry 
between  Cahokia  and  St.  Louis  was  established,  which 
seems  to  have  been  the  only  one  for  a  considerable 

1  In  1874  a  national  commission  recommended  an  elaborate 
levee  system.     As  this  was  regarded  as  but  a  temporary  expe- 
dient, the  commission  appointed  under  the  law  of  1879  consid- 
ered more  comprehensive  plans.     Chief  of  these  are  two  which 
are  designed  to  make  a  subordinate  element  of  the  levees,  and 
possibly  to  make  it  possible  to  dispense  with  them  altogether. 
One  of  these  is  called  the  "  outlet  system,"  and  is  designed  to 
carry  off  the  superfluous  waters  by  making  large  and  adequate 
outlets,  possibly  diverting  the  Red  River,  so  that  it  shall  reach 
the  gulf  independently  of  the  Mississippi. 

2  In  "Annals  of  the  West,"  page  122,  the  following  reference 
to  the  ferry  occurs  : 

"  At  that  time  [at  the  period  of  the  foundation  of  St.  Louis] 
a  skirt  of  tall  timber  lined  the  bank  of  the  river,  free  from  under- 
growth, which  extended  back  to  a  line  about  the  range  of  Eighth 
Street.  In  the  rear  was  an  extensive  prairie.  The  first  cabins 
were  erected  near  the  river  and  market;  no  '  Bloody  Island'  or 
'  Duncan's  Island'  then  existed.  Directly  opposite  the  old 
Market  Square  the  river  was  narrow  and  deep,  and  until  about 
the  commencement  of  the  present  century  persons  could  be  dis- 
tinctly heard  from  the  opposite  shore.  Opposite  Duncan's 
Island  and  South  St.  Louis  was  an  island  covered  with  heavy 
timber  and  separated  from  the  Illinois  shore  by  a  slough.  Many 
persons  are  now  living  (1850)  who  recollect  the  only  ferry  from 

About  1783,  Capt.  James  S.  Piggott  established  a 
fort  not  far  from  the  bluffs  in  the  American  Bottom, 
west  of  the  present  town  of  Columbia,  in  Monroe 
County,  which  was  called  "  Piggott's  Fort ;"  and  Gover- 
nor St.  Clair,  knowing  the  character  of  Capt.  Piggott'a 
services  during  the  Revolutionary  war,  made  him  pre- 
siding judge  of  the  court  of  St.  Cfair  County,  the  seat 
of  which  was  at  Cahokia.  Capt.  Piggott  was  not  only 
a  brave  soldier,  but  a  shrewd  and  enterprising  man, 
and  set  to  work  at  once  to  develop  the  resources  of 
the  little  community.  In  the  winter  of  1792-93  he 
erected  two  log  cabins  on  the  site  of  East  St.  Louis, 
and  continued  the  work  of  improvement  during  the 
winter  months  (in  the  summer  the  workmen  would 
have  been  in  constant  danger  from  the  Indians)  until 
1795.  After  the  successful  campaign  of  Gen.  Wayne 
against  the  Indians,  Capt.  Piggott  removed  his  family 
from  the  fort  to  the  site  of  the  future  Illinoistown. 
Having  completed  a  road  and  bridge  over  Cahokia 
Creek  and  established  a  ferry  from  the  Illinois  to  the 
Missouri  shore,  he  petitioned,  on  the  15th  of  August, 
1797,  for  the  exclusive  right  to  collect  ferriage  in  St. 
Louis,  then  under  the  dominion  of  the  Spanish  crown. 
His  petition  was  in  the  following  words : 


"To  Mr.  Zenon  Trudean,  Commander  at  St.  Louis: 

"SiR, — Though  unacquainted,  through  a  certain  confidence 
of  your  love  of  justice  and  equity,  I  venture  to  lay  before  you 
the  following  petition,  which,  from  reasons  following,  I  am  con- 
fident you  will  find  just  to  allow. 

"  The  petition  is  that  Your  Honor  will  grant  me  the  whole 
benefit  of  this  ferry  to  and  from  the  town  of  St.  Louis.  I  do 
not  desire  to  infringe  upon  the  ferry  privileges  below  the  town, 
which  have  been  long  established,  but  that  no  person  in  the 
town  may  be  allowed  to  set  people  across  the  river  for  pay  (at 
this  place),  so  long  as  you  shall  allow  that  the  benefits  of  this 
ferry  hath  made  compensation  for  my  private  expenses  in  open- 
ing a  new  road  and  making  it  good  from  this  ferry  to  Cahokia 
Town,  and  making  and  maintaining  a  bridge  over  the  River 
Abbe  of  a  hundred  and  fifty  feet  in  length. 

"  Your  consideration  and  answer  to  this  is  the  request  of  your 
humble  petitioner;  and  as  an  acknowledgment  of  the  favor 
petitioned  for,  if  granted,  I  will  be  under  the  same  regulations 
with  my  ferry,  respecting  crossing  passengers  or  property  from 
your  shore  as  your-ferry-men  are  below  the  town  ;  and  should 
your  people  choose  to  cross  the  river  in  their  own  crafts,  my 
landing  and  road  shall  be  free  to  them. 

"And  should  you  wish  me  to  procure  you  anything  that 
comes  to  market  from  the  country  on  this  side,  I  shall  alwayi 
be  ready  to  serve  you. 

"And  should  you  have  need  of  timber  or  anything  that  is 
the  product  of  my  land,  it  may  be  had  at  the  lowest  rates. 

"  I  am,  sir,  with  due  respect,  your  humble  servant, 


"Aug.  15,  1797." 

Illinois  to  St.  Louis  passed  from  Cahokia,  below  this  island,  and 
landed  on  the  Missouri  shore  near  the  site  of  the  United  States 



Although  the  Spanish  commandant  was  anxious  to 
have  the  ferry  regularly  carried  on  by  Piggott,  because 
it  was  of  great  use  to  St.  Louis,  yet  he  devised  a  plan 
by  which  it  was  done  without  having  it  said  that  he 
had  granted  the  ferry-right  to  a  foreigner,  viz.,  he 
granted  Piggott  the  ferry  landing  below  Market  Street, 
on  which  Piggott  then  erected  a  small  ferry-house, 
which  was  occupied  mostly  by  one  of  his  ferry  hands, 
who  at  any  time  could  transport  foot  passengers  in  a 
canoe  ;  but  when  horses,  etc.,  were  to  be  taken  across 
a  platform  had  to  be  used,  which  required  three  men 
to  manage  it. 

This  platform  was  surrounded  by  a  railing,  and 
floated  on  Indian  "  pirogues,"  made  by  hollowing  out 
trees.  The  craft  was  "  poled  or  paddled  with  long 
sweeps  handled  by  Creoles."  Not  only  was  Piggott 
granted  the  right  of  establishing  a  ferry-house  at  St. 
Louis,  but  he  was  made  a  citizen  of  the  town  by  the 
commandant,  and  clothed  with  other  powers  and 
privileges.  At  this  time,  it  is  said,  the  river  was  so 
narrow  that  persons  wishing  to  cross  from  either  side 
could  easily  make  Capt.  Piggott  hear  "  the  old-time 
shout  of  '0— ver!'" 

The  ferry  was  managed  by  Capt.  or  Judge  Piggott 
until  the  20th  of  February,  1799,  when  he  died, 
leaving  his  wife  the  executrix  of  his  will.  Mrs. 
Piggott  rented  the  ferry  to  Dr.  Wallis  for  the  years 
1800-2,  and  then  to  a  Mr.  Adams.  About  this 
time  Mrs.  Piggott  married  Jacob  Collard,  and  removed 
from  Illinois  to  St.  Louis,  Mo.  Before  leaving  she 
leased  the  ferry  to  John  Campbell  for  ten  years  from 
the  5th  day  of  May,  1805.  Campbell,  however, 
procured  a  license  for  a  ferry  in  his  own  name 
during  the  time  of  the  lease,  and  hence  for  a  short  j 
time  it  was  called  "  Campbell's  ferry."  But  after 
a  lawsuit  Campbell  and  confederates  were  beaten, 
and  the  ferry  reconveyed  to  Piggott's  heirs,  one  of 
whom,  assisted  by  men  named  Solomon,  Blundy,  and 
Porter,  operated  the  ferry  until  part  of  the  heirs  sold 
out  to  McKnight  &  Brady. 

For  some  time  the  ferry-boats  landed  at  Illinois- 
town,  about  the  northwest  end  of  Main  and  Market 
Streets,  near  which  was  the  spot  where  the  bridge 
constructed  by  Capt.  Piggott  crossed  the  River  1' Abbe, 
more  commonly  known  as  Cahokia  Creek.  Although 
many  tenants  subsequently  occupied  the  ferry  tract  of 
land,  none  of  them  had  a  fee  title  therein,  the 
property  being  owned  by  the  heirs  of  James  Piggott 
or  their  assigns,  who  derived  their  title  in  part  from 
a  grant  made  by  Governor  William  H.  Harrison,  of 
Indiana  Territory,  March  12,  1803,  of  a  tract  of 
land  which  afterwards  became  the  site  of  East  St. 


On  the  7th  of  December,  1808,  the  following  an- 
nouncement was  made  of  the  rates  of  ferriage : 


"  Rates  of  ferriage,  as  established  by  law,  from  St.  Louis  to 
the  opposite  shore. 

For  a  single  person $0.25 

Horse 50 

Neat  cattle,  each 50 

Calash 50 

Wagon 50 

Lumber  of  any  kind,  per  cwt 12£" 

In  1813  a  rival  ferry  appears,  from  the  subjoined 
advertisement  published  May  15,  1813,  to  have  been 
established : 

"We,  the  subscribers,  take  the  liberty  to  inform  the  public 
that  any  person  or  persons  who  may  think  proper  to  cross  with 
us  at  our  ferry  to  St.  Louis,  and  for  which  pay  us  the  customary 
prices  established  by  law,  that  we  will  return  them  back  free  of 
ferriage  at  all  times  when  our  boat  is  on  the  west  side  of  the 
Mississippi  River  at  St.  Louis.  This  measure  became  indis- 
pensably necessary  in  consequence  of  an  indirect  course  of  con- 
duct practiced  towards  us. 

"  Lockhart's  Ferry,  opposite  St.  Louis." 

The  following  ofier  to  rent  Piggott's  ferry  was  made 
on  the  30th  of  September  in  the  same  year : 

"Ferry.  On  the  13th  November  next  I  will  rent  to  the 
highest  bidder  the  ferry  opposite  St.  Louis ;  due  attendance 
will  be  given  by  me  at  the  house  where  John  Porter  now  lives, 
and  other  particulars  will  be  made  known  at  the  time  of  leasing. 


On  the  4th  of  January,  1815,  five-sevenths  of  Pig- 
gott's heirs  conveyed  their  interest  in  the  ferry  to  Mc- 
Knight &  Brady,  who  had,  under  special  contract, 
been  running  it  on  trial  one  year  previous,  and  on  the 
4th  of  March,  1820,  the  other  two-sevenths  of  Pig- 
gott's heirs  conveyed  their  interest  in  the  land  and 
ferry  to  Samuel  Wiggins,  who,  under  special  contract 
with  them,  had  been  running  a  ferry  in  competition 
with  McKnight  &  Brady  during  1819,  and  on  the 
19th  of  May,  1821,  McKnight  &  Brady  conveyed 
their  ferry  right  to  Samuel  Wiggins.1 

Edwin  Draper,  writing  of  his  own  experience  in 
crossing  the  Mississippi  in  1815,  says, — 

"  The  ferry-boat  in  which  we  crossed  was  a  small  keel-boat, 
without  upper  deck  or  cabin,  and  was  propelled  by  four  oars  by 
hand.  The  wagons,  then  the  only  means  of  land  travel,  were 
run  by  hand  on  to  the  boat,  across  which  were  placed  broad 
planks  transversely,  resting  on  the  gunwales  of  the  boat,  while 
the  tongue  of  the  wagon  projected  beyond  the  side  of  the  boat, 
and  as  the  latter  swayed  gracefully  to  the  motion  of  the  waves 

1  Another  account  states  that  "  Pigot"  (meaning,  of  course, 
not  Capt.  Piggott,  but  another  member  of  the  family)  "  operated 
the  ferry  in  the  same  old  fashion  with  canoes  until  1815  or  1817. 
It  probably  passed  then  into  the  hands  of  Day,  a  squire  and 
tavern-keeper  in  Illinoistown.  In  1819,  Day  sold  to  Samuel 
Wiggins.  Day  had  improved  somewhat  on  the  old  system,  and 
had  run  a  boat  operated  by  one  horse,  who,  by  a  treadmill  step, 
had  worked  stern-  or  side-wheels." 



the  tongue-chains  would  dip  politely  into  the  water,  as  if  ac- 
knowledging the  power  of  the  mighty  monarch  they  were  daring 
to  stride.  The  horses,  wagon,  and  saddle,  family,  slaves,  and 
dogs  were  stowed  in  the  bottom  of  the  boat  between  the  wagons, 
and  thus  we  triumphantly  entered  Missouri.  Our  crossing,  with 
many  other  families,  was  detained  several  days  by  high  winds 
and  waves  preventing  the  safe  crossing  of  the  boat.  Whether 
this  boat  was  merely  improvised  for  the  occasion,  or  was  the 
regular  class  of  boats  then  in  use  I  do  not  know,  but  that  was 
the  boat  then  used.  Since  that  date  I  have  lived  in  Missouri 
to  see  and  experience  its  many  changes,  and  have  been  more  or 
less  familiar  with  its  history.  My  first  crossing  of  the  great 
water  certainly  inspired  tne  with  some  fear,  but  I  did  not  know 
then  but  it  was  among  the  common  products  or  everyday  sights  j 
in  this  country.  .  .  . 

"  The  statement  I  make  is  this,  that  at  the  time  I  first  crossed 
the  stream  in  1815  it  was  fully  a  quarter  of  a  mile  wider  at  St. 
Louis  than  it  is  at  the  present  time.  I  do  not  state  the  exact 
number  of  feet  and  inches  it  has  diminished,  but  about  the 
above  distance.  How  this  wonderful  change  in  the  width  of 
the  river  at  your  great  city  was  brought  about  it  is  not  my 
business  or  purpose  to  explain." 

Another  writer  thus  describes  the  old  ferry  a  few 
years  later : 

"  There  were  at  that  time  two  ferry-boats  making  regular 
trips,  one  at  the  foot  of  Market  Street  and  one  near  Morgan 
Street.  In  front  of  the  city  was  a  sand-bar,  which  in  1819 
reached  from  Market  to  Morgan  Streets,  and  extended  two- 
thirds  of  the  way  across  the  river. 

"  The  ferries  were  owned  by  Mr.  Nash  and  E.  M.  Van  Ansdel. 
One  of  the  boats  crossed  above  Bloody  Island,  and  the  other 
below.  Skiffs  and  keel  boats  were  also  much  used  in  the  trans- 
fer of  freight  and  passengers.  Mr.  Day  started  the  first  horse 
ferry-boat  about  1824,  which  was  also  the  first  one  that  had  any 
cover  or  protection  from  the  weather." 

In  November,  1816,  five  persons  lost  their  lives  by 
the  upsetting  of  the  ferry-boat.  The  newspaper  ac- 
count of  the  disaster  at  the  time  of  its  occurrence  is 
as  follows: 

"  On  Tuesday  morning  last  the  ferry-boat  which  is 
accustomed  to  ply  between  this  town  and  the  opposite 
shore  of  the  Mississippi  upset  in  the  middle  of  the 
stream,  by  which  five  persons  lost  their  lives.  The 
ferryman,  Mr.  Dubay,  and  his  two  assistants  died  on 
being  taken  ashore  from  the  wreck  ;  Ezekiel  Woolfort, 
son  of  Mr.  Woolfort,  of  this  place,  and  a  Mr.  Stark,  of 
Bourbon  County,  Ky.,  sunk  before  the  boats  reached 
the  wreck,  and  are  not  found.  What  adds  poignancy 
to  this  unusual  catastrophe,  some  of  the  ferrymen 
spoke  after  they  were  taken  up,  but  died  from  ex- 
cessive fatigue  and  cold,  without  an  immediate  remedy 
being  applied,  and  which  generally  succeeds  in  cases 
of  suspended  animation. 

"  Dubay  was  a  useful  citizen,  and  attended  to  the 
town  ferry  with  unprecedented  attention.  He  has  left 
a  helpless  family,  whose  situation  claims  the  attention 
of  the  benevolent. 

"  Mr.  John  Jacoby,  of  St.  Louis,  has  authorized 
us  to  offer  a  reward  of  fifty  dollars  for  the  body  of 

Mr.  Stark,  or  if  it  should  be  taken  up  too  far  down 
the  river  for  conveyance  to  this  place,  those  to  whose 
lot  it  may  fall  to  pay  the  last  sad  offices  to  the  de- 
ceased are  informed  that  every  expense  will  be  paid 
for  his  decent  interment.  Mr.  Woolfort  will  no  doubt 
liberally  reward  those  who  will  find  and  inter  his  son 
as  above." 

On  the  17th  of  March,  1819,  it  was  announced 
that  application  had  been  made-"  to  the  Legislature 
of  Illinois  at  its  present  session  for  the  privilege  of 
running  a  ferry-boat  from  the  town  of  Illinois  to  St. 
Louis  by  steam-  or  horse-power,  and  that  Legislature, 
with  a  laudable  view  of  encouraging  useful  improve- 
ments for  public  accommodation,  have  authorized  the 
establishment  of  such  ferry-boat." 

Besides  managing  the  ferry,  Mr.  Wiggins  appears 
also  to  have  kept  a  tavern  in  Illinoistown,  and  was 
evidently  a  thrifty  and  progressive  citizen.1 

In  1820,  Mr.  Wiggins  procured  a  boat  which  was 
worked  by  one-horse  power,  but  still  employed 
French  Creoles  from  Cahokia  to  ferry  passengers  and 
horses  over  by  means  of  canoes  lashed  together.  The 
new  boat  was  crushed  in  the  ice  in  the  winter  of 
1824-25,  near  the  foot  of  Morgan  (then  Oak)  Street, 
Mr.  Wiggins  then  built  a  larger  and  better  boat, 
which  he  christened  the  "  Sea  Serpent,"  of  one-horse 
power,  and  from  this  until  1828  all  the  ferriage  was 
performed  by  boats  of  this  class.  So  largely  did  the 
business  increase  that  he  was  compelled  to  enlarge  his 
fleet,  and  two  other  boats,  also  of  one-horse  power, 

1  "After  the  establishment  of  the  Piggott  ferry  successive  at- 
tempts were  made  to  establish  towns,  which  bore  various  names. 
Some  of  these  were  laid  out  immediately  on  the  shore  of  the 
river,  and  as  there  were  no  paved  levees  to  protect  the  banks, 
the  river  kept  constantly  encroaching  upon  the  land,  and  the 
towns  were  washed  away.  The  first  was  named  Washington. 
It  was  situated  on  the  Illinois  shore,  eastward  and  opposite  to 
the  St.  Louis  grain  elevator.  It  consisted  of  a  tavern,  owned 
by  Mr.  Samuel  AViggins,  and  four  or  five  dwelling-houses.  A 
gentleman  now  living  near  Belleville,  once  clerk  of  St.  Clair 
Count}',  relates  an  incident  that  occurred  to  him  during  the 
time  when  Washington  was  gradually  washing  away.  lie 
states  that  he  had  been  to  St.  Louis  with  produce  from  his 
father's  farm,  fifteen  miles  eastward.  He  says,  'One  night  I 
slept  in  Wiggins'  tavern.  It  was  pretty  close  to  the  shore.  A 
big  sycamore-tree  stood  eight  feet  from  the  house  on  the  bank. 
Along  about  midnight  I  heard  wnter.  It  seemed  from  the  sound 
to  be  under  the  house.  I  thought  it  must  be  the  river.  I  partly 
dressed  as  quickly  as  I  could,  and  ran  out  shoreward.  Wiggins 
and  everybody  else  that  was  in  it  ran  out  too,  expecting  the 
house  to  go.  The  big  sycamore  was  gone.  It  had  taken  with 
it  a  piece  of  ground  from  under  the  .house,  and  the  river  was 
running  under  the  outer  wall.  But  it  stood  till  morning.  I 
got  breakfast  there,  when  they  moved  it  back  farther  from  the 
river.'.  Subsequently  all  the  town  of  Washington  was  washed 
away." — Hist.  East  St.  Louis,  by  Robert  A.  Tyson,  pp.  19 
and  20. 





named  the  "  Rhinoceros''  and  "  Antelope,"  were  added 
to  the  number,  making  three  in  all.  In  1828  a  new 
boat,  with  steam-power,  named  the  "  St.  Clair,"  was 
added,  and  made  two  landings  each  day,  calling  at  the 
foot  of  Market  Street,  then  at  Morgan,  and  thence 
across  to  the  Illinois  shore.  In  1830  the  business 
had  increased  to  such  an  extent  as  to  demand  another 
boat,  and  the  "  Ibex"  was  added.  In  1832,  Samuel 
Wiggins  sold  his  ferry  franchises  to  Bernard  Pratte, 
father  of  Gen.  Bernard  Pratte,  John  O'Fallon,  John 
H.  Gay,  Charles  Mulliken,  Andrew  Christy,  Samuel 
C.  Christy,  Adain  L.  Mills,  and  William  C.  Wiggins. 
In  1838,  John  H.  Gay  bought  the  interest  of  John 
O'Fallon.  Shortly  after  this  Andrew  Christy  pur- 
chased the  remaining  interest  of  Col.  O'Fallon,  and 
afterwards  the  entire  interest  of  Mr.  Gay.  At  this 
time  Mr.  Christy  and  his  sister-in-law,  Mrs.  McLane 
Christy,  owned  ten  shares,  over  one-half  of  the  stock. 

Andrew  Christy  was  born  in  Warren  County,  Ohio, 
in  1799,  and  when  quite  young  removed  with  his 
parents  to  Lawrence  County,  111.,  where  they  located 
on  a  farm  near  Sumner,  the  county-seat  of  that 
county.  In  his  youth  Andrew  engaged  for  a  time 
in  teaching  school  near  Ridge  Prairie,  St.  Clair 
Co.,  in  the  same  State. 

In  1826,  in  company  with  Francis  and  Vital,  sons 
of  Nicholas  Jarrot,  of  Cahokia,  he  engaged  in  lead- 
mining  at  Galena,  111.,  which  business  he  pursued 
during  several  years.  He  then  removed  to  St.  Clair 
County,  opposite  St.  Louis,  and  entered  into  business 
with  his  brother,  Samuel  C.  Christy. 

In  1832,  as  stated  above,  he  and  his  brother,  with 
Bernard  Pratte  and  others,  purchased  from  Samuel 
Wiggins  the  ferry  franchise  and  boats  belonging  to 
the  Wiggins  Ferry  Company,  and  continued  a  member 
of  this  company  until  his  death.  From  1835  to  1840 
he  was  engaged  in  the  grocery  and  commission  busi- 
ness in  St.  Louis  with  Samuel  B.  Wiggins,  in  Chou- 
teau's  Row,  on  the  street  then  between  Market  and 
W'ulnut  Streets  and  Main  Street  and  the  Levee. 

He  represented  St.  Louis  in  the  Legislature  of 
Missouri  in  1851. 

Mr.  Christy  was  a  public-spirited  man,  and  among 
the  important  enterprises  which  he  was  active  in  pro- 
moting were  operations  for  the  preservation  of  the 
harbor  of  St.  Louis  by  turning  the  current  of  the 
river  toward  the  Missouri  shore,  and  thus  preventing 
the  shoaling  of  the  water  on  that  side.  He  was  also 
identified  with  early  efforts  for  the  establishment  of 
railroads  leading  to  St.  Louis.  In  short,  he  was  a 
promoter  of  every  enterprise  that  promised  to  advance 
the  prosperity  of  the  city. 

By  the  exercise  of  his  excellent  judgment  and  keen 

foresight,  together  with  his  indomitable  energy,  he 
accumulated  a  large  fortune,  which  he  bequeathed  to 
his  brothers  and  sisters,  or  their  descendants.  He 
was  never  married.  Mr.  Christy  died  of  paralysis 
Aug.  11,  1869. 

In  1832  the  steam  ferry-boat  "  Ozark"  was  added 
to  the  vessels  of  the  ferry  company  ;  thep,  as  the  busi- 
ness increased,  the  "  Vindicator"  and  the  "  Icelander" 
were  put  on,  the  latter  being  destroyed  by  fire  in  1844. 
The  "  Wagoner"  was  built  in  1846,  and  then  the 
"  Grampus."  The  "  St.  Louis"  was  added  in  1848. 
Her  boilers  exploded  Feb.  21,  1851,  killing  thirteen 
persons,  including  the  engineer,  a  daughter  of  Mr. 
Jarvis,  the  pilot,  and  Captain  Trendley's  son,  who 
had  just  arrived  from  California,  having  been  in  the 
city  but  two  days.  The  accident  occurred  at  the  foot 
of  Spruce  Street,  just  after  the  boat  left  the  landing. 
After  the  "St.  Louis"  there  followed  in  turn,  as  occa- 
sion demanded,  the  "Illinois,"  "John  Trendley," 
"  Illinois,  No.  2,"  lost  in  the  ice  in  1864,  the  "  Amer- 
ica," and  the  "  New  Era,"  which  became  the  flag-ship 
"  Essex"  of  Admiral  Foote,  and  saw  hard  service  in 
the  civil  war.  In  addition  to  these  were  the  "  Charles 
Mulliken,"  "  Samuel  C.  Christy,"  "  Cahokia,"  "  Belle- 
ville,"  "Edward  C.  Wiggins,"  "East  St.  Louis," 
"  Springfield,"  "  Edwardsville,"  "  Ram,"  "  Lewis  V. 
Bogy,"  and  the  tugs  "  H.  C.  Crevelin,"  "S.  C.  Clubb," 
and  "  D.  W.  Hewitt."  The  "  Vindicator"  was  wrecked 
in  1871,  and  in  1875  the  "  S.  C.  Clubb"  was  nearly 
destroyed  by  fire,  but  was  afterwards  repaired. 

Owing  to  the  difficulty  and  danger  experienced  by 
the  ordinary  ferry-boats  in  crossing  the  river  when 
encumbered  by  ice,  the  company,  in  July,  1839,  con- 
tracted with  a  boat-builder  at  New  Albany,  Ind.,  for 
an  ice  steam  ferry-boat,  with  which  they  would  be 
"  able  to  cross  the  river  at  all  times,  except  when  the 
ice  is  stationary."  The  vessel  was  to  be  constructed 
after  plans  prepared  by  Mr.  Mulliken,  of  Mulliken  & 
Pratte,  merchants  of  St.  Louis,  with  an  iron  bow, 
"  in  such  a  manner  as  to  admit  of  her  being  driven 
through  any  amount  of  floating  ice."  The  boat  was 
completed  in  the  following  fail,  and  arrived  at  St. 
Louis  on  the  3d  of  December.  She  was  about  one 
hundred  feet  in  length,  forty  feet  beam,  and  four  feet 
hold.  Her  hull  was  plated  with  sheet-iron  one-sixth 
of  an  inch  in  thickness,  with  an  iron  cutwater  seven 
inches  thick.  She  carried  four  hundred  tons  and 
drew  twenty-five  inches  of  water. 

In  1842  a  new  ferry  company  was  formed,  as  ap- 
pears from  the  following  announcement  in  the  Rcpujj. 
lican  of  February  5th  of  that  year :  "  We  understand 
that  the  new  ferry  company  have  contracted  with  the 
Dry-Dock  Company  for  a  ferry-boat.  This  company 



have  obtained  the  right  of  ferriage  from  the  foot  of 
Spruce  Street,  and  from  a  road  laid  out  by  the  author- 
ities of  St.  Clair  County  to  the  river-bank." 

In  1 847  the  landing-place  of  the  ferry  at  St.  Louis 
was  at  the  foot  of  Locust  Street,  but  complaint  was 
made  that  this  location  was  inconvenient,  and  that 
delay  was  caused  by  the  crowding  of  other  boats  "  into 
the  landing  at  that  point." 

On  the  22d  of  January,  1848,  it  was  announced 
that  a  new  steam  ferry  had  been  established  at  Car- 


CAHOKIA   IN  1840. 

ondelet  across  the  Mississippi  Eiver.  This,  it  was 
added,  would  open  a  new  line  of  travel  to  all  Southern 
Illinois.  The  distance  from  the  Kaskaskia  road  to 
the  river  was  about  two  miles,  and  between  these  points 
a  substantial  road  was  built.  <(  By  this  route,"  said 
the  announcement,  "  travelers  avoid  the  difficulties  of 
crossing  the  American  Bottom." 

On  the  7th  of  January,  1852,  the  Republican 
stated  that  the  ferry  company  had  "  with  their  usual 
liberality  placed  their  ferry-boats  at  the  disposition  of 
the  railroad  company  for  the  transportation  of  persons 
to  and  from  the  demonstration  to  be  made  to-day. 
The  boats  will  be  free  to  persons  going  to  or  return- 
ing from  the  celebration." 

In  1853  the  Wiggins  charter,  granted  in  1819,  ex- 
pired, and  application  was  made  to  the  Legislature  for 
a  renewal.  Commenting  upon  this  application  at  the 
time  (Feb.  3,  1853)  the  Republican  said, — 

"  Under  their  charter  and  various  amendments  since  obtained 
they  have  heen  doing  a  highly  prosperous  business.  They  have 
managed  to  keep  the  field  and  destroy  measurably  all  compe- 
tition. They  are  now  applying  to  the  Legislature  for  an  im- 
mense addition  to  their  powers.  They  are  asking  the  Legisla- 
ture to  re-charter  them  with  a  capital  of  one  million,  and  with 
power  to  own  fifteen  hundred  acres  (three  hundred  of  coal  land), 
and  also  with  power  to  build  a  city  on  Bloody  Island,  to  charge 
wharfage  fees,  to  build  and  to  run  any  number  of  ferry-boats  from 

said  island  to  St.  Louis,  and  generally  to  engage  in  any  busi- 
ness required  by  the  exigencies  of  a  city  proprietorship.     ' 

"  The  city  on  Bloody  Island,  with  all  its  wharves,  lots,  streets, 
and  alleys,  would  probably  belong  for  many  generations  to 
come  to  this  incorporated  company.  St.  Louis  has  felt,  and 
Cairo  has  felt,  and  both  cities  now  feel  the  evil  of  having  a  great 
mass  of  their  property  in  the  hands  of  one  man  or  a  few 

When  Samuel  Wiggins  sold  his  franchises  to  the 
company  in  1832,  he  transferred  to  them  about  eight 
or  nine  hundred  acres  lying  between  Brooklyn  and 
the  Cahokia  commons.    The  company 
leased  the  river  front  of  the  Cahokia 
commons,  embracing  between  five  and 
six  thousand  acres,  and  gave  the  Ca- 
hokians  a  free  ferriage  to  and  from 
St.  Louis  and  three  hundred  dollars 
per  year  for  twenty  years.     On  the 
3^yfj|£*  expiration  of  the  lease  the  Cahokians 

re-leased  a  portion  of  the  lands  to  in- 
dividuals, the  revenue  of  which  went 
"  to  the  support  of  schools  and  law- 
yers." The  commons  extended  from 
the  ancient  city  of  Cahokia  to  the 
Pittsburgh  coal  landing  at  the  dike 
opposite  Chouteau  Avenue,  and  were 
extremely  fertile. 

Notwithstanding  the  opposition  to 
the  company's  application  for  a  new  charter  and  addi-t 
tional  franchises,  a  perpetual  charter  for  ferry  purposes 
was  granted  to  Andrew  Christy,  William  C.  Wiggins,1 

1  William  C.  Wiggins,  brother  of  Samuel  Wiggins,  was  born 
in  1783  atNewburgh,  N.  Y.,  and  the  early  portion  of  his  life  was 
spent  in  the  cities  of  New  York  and  Albany.  He  then  removed 
to  Charleston,  S.  C.,  where  he  lived  ten  years  and  was  married. 
After  this  he  returned  to  the  city  of  New  York,  remained  there 
some  years,  and  in  1818  started  for  the  West,  arriving  in  St. 
Louis  in  the  same  year.  In  1822  he  took  charge  of  the  "  Wig- 
gins Ferry,"  of  which  he  remained  in  charge  for  thirty  years. 
He  was  the  last  of  the  original  purchasers  of  the  stock  of  the 
company,  and  realized  from  his  exertions  and  industry  a  hand- 
some fortune.  Mr.  Wiggins  died  on  the  25th  of  November, 

Samuel  B.  Wiggins,  son  of  William  C.  Wiggins,  was  born  in 
Charleston,  S.  C.,  Dec.  11,  1814.  He  first  commenced  business 
in  Illinois,  but  subsequently  returned  to  St.  Louis  and  opened  a 
house  in  company  with  S.  C.  Christy,  under  the  style  of  Christy 
&  Wiggins.  When  Mr.  Christy  retired,  Mr.  Wiggins  carried 
on  the  business  alone  until  he  took  his  brother  into  partnership, 
the  new  firm  being  known  as  S.  B.  Wiggins  &  Co.  After  con- 
tinuing for  some  time  it  was  again  reorganized  under  the  name 
of  Wiggins  &  Anderson,  and  was  a  prominent  grocery  and 
dry-goods  firm.  It  was  dissolved  in  1859,  and  Mr.  Wiggins, 
withdrew  entirely  from  active  business  life.  During  the  period 
of  his  commercial  career  and  afterwards  he  occupied  various 
important  positions  in  business  circles.  He  was  a  director  in 
the  Southern  Bank,  in  the  Pacific  Insurance  Company,  and 
for  fifteen  years  in  the  Citizens'  Insurance  Company.  For 



Adam  L.  Mills,  Lewis  V.  Bogy,  and  Napoleon  B. 

The  company,  although  it  enjoyed  for  many  years 
a  practical  monopoly  of  the  ferriage  business,  appears, 
on  the  whole,  to  have  pursued  a  liberal  policy.     The  ; 
entire  river-front  of  East  St.  Louis,  for  a  distance  of  j 
four  miles,  was  owned  by  it,  and  in  1875  its  property  ! 
was  estimated  to  be  worth  several  millions  of  dollars.  | 
The  company  contributed  greatly  to  the  development  j 
and  growth  of  East  St.  Louis,  and  co-operated  with 
the  railroad  companies  in  providing  additional  traveling 
facilities  for  St.  Louis  by  granting  suitable  grounds 
for  tracks,  depots,  warehouses,  yards,   and  machine- 
shops.      For  eighteen  years  Hon.  Lewis  V.  Bogy, 
afterwards  United  States  >  senator  from  Missouri,  was  i 
president  of  the  company,  and  Capt.  John  Trendley,1 
after  whom  also   one  of  the  ferry-boats  was  named, 
served  the  company  continuously  from  the  7th  of  May, 
1825,  for  a  period  of  more  than  half  a  century. 

In  1865  the  average  number  of  passengers  carried 
daily  by  the  ferry  fleet  to  and  from  St.  Louis  was  j 
from  1000  to  1500;  bushels  of  coal,  10,000  to  15,000; 
transfer-wagons,  500  to  600 ;  farmers'  and  market- 
wagons,  100  to  150  ;  omnibuses,  30  to  40.  The  ag- 
gregate receipts  for  1865  were  very  little  less  than 
$300,000,  while  in  1873  the  aggregate  receipts  were 
largely  over  $500,000.  At  this  time  (1873)  there 
were  10,000  shares,  representing  nominally  a  million 
of  dollars,  "  but,"  remarked  a  newspaper  writer,  "  if 
any  one  desires  to  know  how  much  they  are  worth  at 
a  marketable  or  selling  price  over  the  par  value  of 
8100,  he  can  do  so  by  wanting  to  purchase."  In 
addition  to  the  eight  ferry-boats  and  three  transfer- 
boats  which  the  company  then  owned,  the  East  St. 
Louis  real  estate  and  wharf  franchises  were  very 
valuable.  Much  the  largest  amount  of  stock  was 
held  by  the  Christys,  which  had  been  sub-divided,  and 
was  then  represented  by  perhaps  twenty-five  heirs. 
The  sales  of  real  estate  subsequent  to  1865  and  up 
to  1873,  none  being  sold  prior  to  1865,  and  all  of  it 
having  been  purchased  by  Capt.  Samuel  Wiggins  at 

several  years  he  was  president  of  the  Wiggins  Ferry  Company,  I 
in  which  he  was  a  large  stockholder.  He  died  on  the  24th  of  j 
July,  1868. 

1  A  newspaper  writer,  describing  the  ferry  at  an  early  period, 
eays,  "There  was  no  levee  at  that  time,  and  the  boat  was  landed  ! 
under  the  cliffs  and  rocks.  A  road  led  down  from  the  village  ; 
(St.  Louis)  to  the  ferry  landing.  Capt.  Trendley  used  fre- 
quently to  run  in  under  the  cliffs  to  get  out  of  a  shower.  The 
ferry  landing  at  that  early  time  on  the  Illinois  shore  was  at  the 
old  brick  tavern  then  kept  by  Dr.  Tiffin  (which  has  since  been 
swept  away),  and  about  two  hundred  yards  west  of  the  Illinois 
and  Terre  Haute  round-house.  The  fare  at  that  time  was  a 
'  long  bit'  for  a  footman,  a  market-wagon  seventy-five  cents, 
and  for  a  two-horse  wagon  one  dollar." 

the  government  price  of  one  dollar  and  twenty-five 
cents  per  acre,  amounted  to  almost  one  million  dollars, 
and  what  was  left  was  considered  in  1873  to  be 
worth  more  than  the  whole  estimated  value  of  1865. 

In  1875  the  officers  of  the  company  were  N.  Mul- 
liken, president ;  F.  M.  Christy,  vice-president ;  S. 
C.  Clubb,  general  superintendent ;  Henry  Sackman, 
assistant  superintendent ;  John  Trendley,  agent ; 
first  grade  directors,  N.  Mulliken,  F.  M.  Christy,  S. 
C.  Clubb,  J.  H.  Beach,  Ernest  Pegnet.  In  1882, 
Samuel  C.  Clubb,  president;  F.  L.  Ridgely,  vice- 
president  ;  Henry  L.  Clark,  secretary  and  treasurer ; 
E.  C.  Newkirk,  assistant  secretary  ;  directors,  Sam- 
uel C.  Clubb,  F.  L.  Ridgely,  Charles  Shaw,  Ernest 
Pegnet,  and  Charles  Wiggins,  Jr. 

The  St.  Charles  ferry  was  established  by  Marshall 
Brotherton2  and  John  L.  Ferguson. 

The  South  St.  Louis  and  Cahokia  ferry  was  estab- 
lished in  1870,  and  opened  to  travel  on  the  19th  of 
June  of  that  year.  The  following  account  of  the 
inauguration  of  the  ferry  was  printed  in  a  St.  Louis 
newspaper  of  the  20th  : 

"  The  tow-boat  '  Florence/  Henry  Kuter,  captain,  left  the 
foot  of  Anna  Street  yesterday  afternoon  for  Cahokia  with  a 
large  excursion  party  on  board.  The  occasion  was  the  celebra- 
tion of  the  opening  of  a  ferry  between  South  St.  Louis  and 

z  Marshall  Brotherton  was  born  in  Erie  County,  Pa.,  Jan.  6, 
1811,  and  when  an  infant  was  brought  out  into  the  wilds  of 
St.  Louis  County  by  his  parents.  The  family  located  upon  a 
piece  of  ground  not  far  from  St.  Louis,  and  Mr.  Brotherton, 
the  elder,  lived  there  as  a  thrifty  farmer  up  to  the  time  of  his 
death.  James  Brotherton,  a  brother  of  Marshall,  was  elected 
sheriff  of  St.  Louis  County,  and  Marshall,  then  a  young  man, 
removed  to  St.  Louis  and  worked  in  the  office  of  his  brother  as 
deputy.  When  James  died,  Marshall,  who  had  made  a  very 
efficient  officer,  was  elected  sheriff,  and  occupied  that  office  for 
several  terms.  He  then  engaged  in  mercantile  pursuits  in  St. 
Louis,  his  business  being  mainly  that  of  a  lumber  dealer.  He 
was  also  interested  in  other  matters,  notable  among  them  being 
a  partnership  with  John  L.  Ferguson  in  the  ownership  of  the 
St.  Charles  ferry.  At  various  periods  he  held  the  offices  of 
sheriff,  county  judge,  fund  commissioner,  and  president  of  the 
board  of  managers  of  the  House  of  Refuge.  About  1854  or 
1855  he  was  put  forward  as  a  candidate  for  the  mayoralty,  but 
was  not  elected.  He  was  uniformly  successful  in  business, 
owing  to  his  sound  judgment,  active  habits,  and  great  popular- 
ity. At  the  time  of  his  death,  which  occurred  in  the  latter 
part  of  November,  1875,  his  ferry  interest  and  the  North  Mis- 
souri Planing-Mill,  situated  on  the  river-bank,  at  the  foot  of 
Bremen  Avenue,  were  the  only  active  operations  which  he  still 
controlled.  He  was,  however,  president  of  the  Bremen  Savings- 
Bank,  which  position  he  had  held  ever  since  that  institution 
was  organized. 

In  early  manhood  Mr.  Brotherton  married  Miss  Ferguson,  a 
sister  of  his  partner,  John  L.  Ferguson.  His  wife  died  a  few 
years  after  they  were  married,  and  in  1840  or  1841  he  married 
Miss  Herndon,  a  daughter  of  Rev.  John  C.  Herndon,  by  whom 
he  had  two  daughters,  afterwards  Mrs.  Oscar  Reed  and  Mrs.. 
Stephen  M.  Yeaman. 



Cahokia.  The  South  St.  Louis  and  Cahokia  Ferry  Company 
was  established  in  March  last,  with  a  nominal  capital  of  two 
hundred  thousand  dollars,  divided  into  shares  of  fifty  dol- 
lars; each  share  to  receive  the  benefit  of  one  lot  twenty  by 
one  hundred  and  forty  feet  in  what  is  denominated  Southeast 
St.  Louis,  to  wit :  a  sand-bar,  a  portion  of  Cahokia  commons, 
and  so  much  of  the  Mississippi  River  as  may  be  recovered  by  a 
contemplated  dike  from  the  main  shore  to  Cobb  Island  '  by 
accretion.'  The  lease  of  these  lands  has  been  obtained  by  the 
ferry  company  for  ninety-nine  years.  About  seven  hundred 
acres  of  land  is  comprised  in  this  lease,  for  which  the  company  is 
to  pay  twenty-five  dollars  per  acre  per  annum,  and  the  present 
inhabitants  of  Cahokia  to  pass  over  free  during  their  lives.  This 
privilege  does  not  extend  to  their  offspring,  and  it  accordingly 
behooves  the  beneficiaries  to  live  on  to  a  good  old  age.  The 
lease  was  made  also  on  condition  that  one  thousand  dollars  be 
expended  by  the  company  for  improvements  within  eight 
months,  and  that  at  least  one  ferry-boat  be  put  in  operation 
within  fifteen  months. 

"  The  officers  of  the  company  are  Robert  J.  Rombauer,  presi- 
dent; Henry  Saenger,  secretary  and  treasurer,  with  the  follow- 
ing directors  :  George  Bayha,  E.  W.  Decker,  George  Rathwaite, 
Antoine  Faller,  John  D.  Abry,  of  East  St.  Louis;  E.  H.  Illin- 
ski,  of  Cahokia ;  Francis  Mohrhardt.  The  bargain  on  the  part 
of  the  Cahokians  was  signed  by  Francis  Lavallee,  supervisor, 
and  George  Labenhoffer  and  John  Palmer,  trustees." 

The  officers  of  the  Cahokia  and  St.  Louis  Ferry 
Company  in  1882  were  Julius  Pitzman,  president, 
and  W.  S.  Hopkins,  secretary.1 

In  addition  to  the  foregoing,  the  following  ferry 
companies  have  offices  in  St.  Louis : 

Madison  County  ferry,  landing  foot  of  North 
Market  Street;  boats  ply  between  St.  Louis  and 
Venice,  111. ;  president  in  1882,  John  J.  Mitchell. 

St.  Louis  and  Illinois  Railroad  ferry,  from  foot  of 
Chouteau  Avenue  to  the  coal  dike,  East  St.  Louis. 

1  In  1864  Arsenal  Island,  containing  about  one  hundred  and 
twenty  acres  of  ground,  was  allotted  by  the  Secretary  of  the 
Interior  and  the  commissioners  of  the  general  land  office  to  the 
St.  Louis  public  schools,  and  in  1866  the  school  board  sold  it  to 
the  city  for  thirty-three  thousand  dollars.  It  was  occupied  for 
hospital  purposes  by  the  city  until  1869,  when  the  hospitals 
were  removed  to  Quarantine.  In  1874,  Benjamin  Segar  settled 
on  the  island,  and  put  part  of  it  in  cultivation,  and  continued 
to  live  there  under  a  lease  granted  him  by  the  city.  The  island 
for  a  number  of  years  had  been  moving  down  stream,  and  finally 
fronted  on  a  parcel  of  ground  in  the  Cahokia  commons  on  the 
Illinois  shore,  owned  by  Judge  Rombauer,  as  trustee  for  the 
Cahokia  Ferry  Company.  When  the  island  had  reached  a  point 
in  front  of  the  ground  mentioned,  the  ferry  company  claimed  the 
right  to  extend  their  north  and  south  lines  across  it  to  the 
water's  edge  on  the  western  side  thereof,  and  to  take  possession 
of  so  much  of  the  island  as  was  contained  within  those  lines, 
and  they  entered  on  the  island  and  built  a  wire  fence  on  their 
north  line.  This  fence  was  torn  down  as  soon  as  its  existence 
came  to  the  knowledge  of  the  city  authorities,  and  sign -boards 
were  erected  warning  all  persons  from  trespassing  there.  Sub- 
sequently an  action  was  instituted  in  the  Circuit  Court  at  Belle- 
ville by  Judge  Rombauer,  as  trustee,  against  M.  Segar,  the 
tenant  of  the  city,  to  recover  the  possession  of  the  fifty  acres 
of  ground  embraced  within  the  lines  spoken  of. 

The  St.  Louis  and  Illinois  Coal  Company  and 
Ferry  was  originally  chartered  in  1841  under  the 
style  of  the  "  St.  Clair  Railroad  Company,"  and 
under  that  name  continued  until  1865,  when  the 
present  company  was  organized,  and  became  the  pur- 
chasers of  the  franchises  of  the  St.  Clair  Railroad 
Company.  The  incorporators  were  William  C.  An- 
derson and  John  D.  Whitesides.  The  company  does 
a  general  coal  transportation  and  ferry  business. 
Joseph  W.  Branch  was  elected  president  in  1865,  and 
has  ever  since  continued  to  hold  that  position.  The 
present  capital  stock  is  one  million  five  hundred  thou- 
sand dollars.  The  board  of  directors  consists  of 
the  following :  Joseph  W.  Branch,  Adolphus  Meier, 

C.  S.  Greeley,  W.  A.  Hargadine,  N.  Campbell,  John 

D.  Perry,  George  Knapp.     The  officers  are  Joseph 
W.   Branch,  president;   Adolphus  Meier,  vice-presi- 
dent ;  P.  T.  Burke,  secretary  and  treasurer. 

Waterloo  Turnpike  Road  and  Ferry  Company,  W. 
H.  Grapevine,  superintendent ;  ferry  landing,  foot  of 
David  Street ;  transfer,  foot  of  Franklin  Street,  Car- 

The  Great  St.  Louis  Steel  Bridge  across  the  Mis- 
sissippi River.2 — The  first  proposition  for  the  erection 
of  a  bridge  across  the  Mississippi  River  at  St.  Louis 
was  made  by  Charles  Ellet,  Jr.,  in  1839.3  Mr.  Ellet 
proposed  a  suspension  bridge  having  a  central  span  of 
twelve  hundred  feet,  and  two  side  spans  of  nine  hun- 
dred feet  each  ;  but  the  city  fathers  stood  aghast  at 
the  enormous  estimate  of  the  cost,  seven  hundred  and 
thirty-seven  thousand  six  hundred  dollars,  for  a  high- 
way bridge  alone.  Mr.  Ellet  revived  his  project  in 
September,  1848,  but  nothing  was  accomplished.  In 
January,  1853,  it  was  stated  in  one  of  the  St.  Louis 
newspapers  *  that  u  some  years  ago  Mr.  Charles  Col- 
lins obtained  the  passage  of  a  law  authorizing  the 
building  of  a  suspension  bridge  across  the  Mississippi 
at  St.  Louis,  and  if  he  had  lived  there  is  every 
reason  to  believe  that  he  would  have  accomplished  it ; 
but  with  him  died  all  the  enterprise  of  the  northern 
part  of  the  city,  and  nothing  has  been  heard  of  it 

1  For  the  history  of  the  construction  of  the  great  bridge,  the 
author  is  mainly  indebted  to  Professor  C.  M.  Woodward,  of 
Washington  University. 

*  The  first  bridge  to  span  the  Mississippi  River  was  a  wire 
suspension  bridge  at  Minneapolis,  Minn.,  built  in  1854  by 
Thomas  M.  Griffith,  at  a  cost  of  nearly  fifty  thousand  dollars. 

<  Republican,  Jan.  13,  1853. 

6"  Yesterday,"  said  the  same  paper  of  March  17,  1854,  "we 
examined  the  drawing  and  profile  of  a  bridge  for  the  Mississippi 
River,  drawn  by  B.  Andreas,  engineer,  corner  of  Second  and 
Chestnut  Streets,  over  Ellis  &  Hutton's.  He  has  located  it  across 
the  river  at  or  near  the  shot-tower  above  Carondelet,  and  has 



In  1855,1  Josiah  Dent  organized  a  company,  with 
Maj.  J.  W.  Bissell  as  engineer,  and  a  second  plan 
for  a  suspension  railway  bridge  was  proposed.  The 
cost  was  estimated  at  one  million  five  hundred  thou- 
sand dollars.  For  the  want  of  financial  support  the 
scheme  was  soon  abandoned.  The  incorporators  of 
the  company,  which  was  known  as  the  St.  Louis  and 
Illinois  Bridge  Company,  were :  St.  Louis,  John 
How,  J.  H.  Lucas,  John  O'Fallon,  Samuel  Gaty,  An- 
drew Christy,  Josiah  Dent,  S.  J.  Smith,  D.  A.  Janu- 
ary, William  M.  Morrison  ;  Illinois,  J.  A.  Matter- 
son,  Curtis  Blakeman,  J.  D.  Morrison,  S.  B.  Chand- 
ler, William  C.  Kinney,  Gustavus  Koerner,  William 
S.  Wait,  Vital  Jarrot,  William  N.  Wickliffe,  John  M. 
Palmer,  John  D.  Arnold,  Joseph  Gillespie. 

In  1867  the  time  seemed  to  have  arrived  for  com- 
mencing operations  in  earnest.  Strangely  enough, 
after  nearly  thirty  years  of  inactivity,  two  rival  com- 
panies appeared  in  the  field  ;  one  was  regularly  organ- 
ized (in  April,  1867)  under  the  laws  of  Missouri, 
and  included  among  its  managers  several  prominent 
citizens  of  St.  Louis  ;  the  other  claimed  an  exclusive 
right  under  a  charter  granted  by  the  State  of  Illinois, 
and  was  controlled  by  a  well-known  bridge-builder  of 
Chicago.  James  B.  Eads  was  the  chief  engineer  of 
the  St.  Louis  company  (known  as  the  St.  Louis  and 
Illinois  Bridge  Company)  ;  L.  B.  Boomer  was  mana- 
ger of  the  Illinois  company,  which  was  known  as  the 
Illinois  and  St.  Louis  Bridge  Company. 

The  Illinois  company  was  incorporated  Feb.  21, 
1867,  the  incorporators  being  Joseph  Gillespie,  John 
M.  Palmer,  Jesse  K.  Dubois,  William  Shepard,  John 
Williams,  William  R.  Morrison,  L.  A.  Parks,  Levi 
Davis,  T.  B.  Blackstone,  H.  C.  Moore,  Peter  H.  Wil- 
lard,  R.  P.  Tansey,  Gustavus  A.  Koerner,  C.  P.  Hea- 
ton,  L.  B.  Boomer,  Fred.  T.  Krafft,  L.  B.  Parsons, 
John  Baker,  and  A.  H.  Lee. 

The  officers  were  L.  B.  Boomer,  president ;  R.  P. 
Tansey,  secretary;  directors,  L.  B.  Boomer,  R.  P. 

made  his  drawings  to  correspond.  AVe  understand  that  his 
plan  is  made  with  strict  regard  to  the  measurement  of  the  river 
at  that  point  in  width  and  the  elevations  on  either  side.  He 
proposes  to  cross  the  river  by  five  spans,  each  three  hundred  and 
fifty  feet,  the  base  of  the  carriage-way  to  be  sixty  feet  above  the 
high  water  of  1844,  or  one  hundred  and  twenty  feet  above  ordi- 
nary low  water,  the  bridge  to  rest  on  piers  of  rock  or  cast  iron. 
The  superstructure  is  to  be  of  lattice-work  of  wrought  iron,  well 
secured  together,  with  two  ways  in  breadth  and  two  for  use,  one 
placed  above  the  other,  the  low  ways  for  railroad  tracks  and  the 
upper  for  the  ordinary  travel  of  horses,  carriages,  wagons,  etc." 
1  "  Last  winter,"  said  the  Republican  of  July  11,  1855,  "the 
legislatures  of  Missouri  and  Illinois,  anticipating  the  necessity 
which  might  exist  for  bridging  the  Mississippi  at  this  point  be- 
fore the  time  for  reassembling  should  again  come  round,  passed 
the  requisite  legal  provisions  for  such  n  purpose." 

Tansey,  George  Judd,  William  R.  Morrison,  and  C. 
Beckwith.  The  location  selected  by  the  Missouri 
Company  was  at  the  foot  of  Washington  Avenue, 
where  the  width  of  the  river  at  ordinary  stages  is  but 
little  over  fifteen  hundred  feet,  and  the  plan  consisted 
of  three  steel  arches,  supported  by  two  masonry  piers 
in  the  river  and  an  abutment  on  each  shore.  All  the 
foundations  were  to  be  sunk  to  the  rock,  which  was 
known  to  be  nearly  ninety  feet  below  low-water  at  the 
site  of  the  east  pier.  The  Illinois  company,  on  the 
other  hand,  had  selected  a  location  about  half  a  mile 
above,  and  proposed  to  build  an  iron  truss-bridge,  the 
longest  spans  of  which  should  be  three  hundred  and 
fifty  feet,  supported  by  piers  formed  of  cast-iron  col- 
umns, those  nearest  the  Missouri  shore  to  be  sunk  to 
the  rock,,  and  those  on  the  east  side  bedded  in  the 
sand  fifty  or  sixty  feet  below  low  water.  For  a  time 
the  contest  between  these  two  companies  was  very 
sharp,  though  confined  principally  to  the  newspapers 
and  the  courts.  In  March,  1863,  the  controversy 
was  terminated  by  the  nominal  consolidation  of  the 
two  companies,  and  the  actual  absorption  of  the  Illi- 
nois company  by  its  rival,  to  which  the  former  had 
sold  out,  the  new  corporation  taking  the  name  of  the 
Illinois  and  St.  Louis  Bridge  Company.  The  officers 
of  the  old  St.  Louis  company  retained  their  positions 
in  the  new  organization,  and  Capt.  James  B.  Eads 
continued  as  chief  engineer  and  a  principal  stock- 

From  the  first  Capt.  Eads  was  the  leading  spirit  in 
the  enterprise.  As  chief  engineer  during  the  entire 
period  of  seven  years  (from  1867  to  1874)  occupied 
by  the  building  of  the  bridge,  he  was  responsible  for 
every  novelty,  both  of  design  and  execution,  and  his 
personal  genius  impressed  itself  upon  every  detail  of 
the  structure. 

Col.  Henry  Flad*  was  Capt.  Eads'  first  assistant 

2  Henry  Flad,  one  of  the  most  distinguished  engineers  of  the 
West,  was  a  graduate  of  the  University  of  Munich,  and  his  first 
professional  engagement  was  in  connection  with  hydraulic 
works  on  the  Rhine.  He  came  to  America  at  the  time  of  the 
German  revolution  of  1848,  and  for  a  period  of  eleven  years 
was  connected  with  some  of  the  most  important  railroads  in  the 
country.  In  1854  he  removed  to  Missouri,  and  was  employed 
as  resident  engineer  of  the  Iron  Mountain  road,  a  considerable 
portion  of  which  was  constructed  by  him.  He  also  made  sur- 
veys for  several  other  roads  in  Missouri. 

In  connection  with  Mr.  Kirkwood,  he  made  plans  for  the 
water-works  of  Compton  Hill  and  Bissell's  Point,  and  a  large 
measure  of  the  success  of  that  great  improvement  is  due  to  his 
skill.  After  the  completion  of  this  work  he  filled  the  office  of 
commissioner  of  water-works  for  eight  years.  At  the  outbreak 
of  the  war  he  entered  the  army  as  a  private,  but  his  skill  as  an 
engineer  soon  brought  him  into  prominence,  and  he  rose  rapidly 
to  the  rank  of  colonel  of  engineers. 

Col.  Flad's  name  will  always  be  associated  with  that  of  Capt. 



throughout,  and  brought  to  the  work  great  practical 
experience,  a  ready  power  of  analysis,  and  mechanical 
ingenuity  of  a  high  order.  He  was  ably  seconded  by 
Walter  Katte.  The  theory  of  the  structure  was  the 
joint  product  of  Charles  Pfeifer  and  Professor  William 
Chauvenet,  of  Washington  University. 

The  presidents  of  the  bridge  company  in  order 
were  Charles  K.  Dickson,  William  M.  McPherson, 
and  Gerard  B.  Allen.  J.  C.  Cabot  was  the  first  sec- 
retary, J.  H.  Britton  the  first  treasurer.  Dr.  William 
Taussig  held  the  position  of  chairman  of  the  execu- 
tive committee  through  all  the  administrations.1 

All  the  great  foundations  of  the  bridge,  two  abut- 
ments and  two  river  piers,  stand  on  the  solid  rock 
which  underlies  the  ordinary  river-bed.  The  con- 
struction of  these  foundations  was  the  most  difficult 
part  of  the  work.  To  interfere  as  little  as  possible 
with  the  navigation  of  the  river,  and  to  diminish  the 
cost  of  the  foundations,  the  arches  were  designed 
with  long  spans,  and  the  two  channel  piers  were  given 
great  stability.  The  contract  for  the  whole  of  the 
masonry  work  on  the  bridge  was  awarded  in  August, 
1867,  to  James  Andrews,  of  Allegheny,  Pa. 

The  first  stone  in  the  western  abutment  pier  was 
laid  on  the  bed-rock  Feb.  25,  1868 ;  the  first  stone 
was  laid  on  the  caisson  of  the  east  channel  pier  Oct. 
25.  1869,  and  the  first  stone  on  the  caisson  of  the 
west  channel  pier  was  laid  the  15th  of  January,  1870. 

During  the  first  half  of  the  year  1868  the  minutest 
details  of  the  work  were  critically  examined  by  the 
board  of  engineers.  The  mathematical  calculations 
and  investigations  were  conducted  by  Col.  Flad  and 
Mr.  Pfeifer,  and  then  submitted  to  Capt.  Bads, 
and  by  him  referred  to  the  analysis  and  examination 
of  Professor  W.  Chauvenet,  LL.D.,  chancellor  of 
Washington  University.  In  this  way  the  most  won- 
derful mathematical  exactness  was  secured.  By  the 
middle  of  the  year  the  drawings  and  all  the  de- 
tails of  the  bridge  had  been  gone  through  with  by 
the  engineers,  and  the  mighty  structure  was  complete 
in  the  mind  of  the  chief  engineer  and  his  assistants. 

Eads  in  connection  with  the  St.  Louis  bridge  and  tunnel.  He 
had  charge  of  all  the  details  of  their  construction,  and  it  is  a 
matter  of  history  that  on  every  occasion  Capt.  Eads  insisted 
upon  a  division  of  the  honors  of  their  united  success  in  this 
great  undertaking.  Among  other  works  of  Col.  Flad  may  be 
mentioned  the  lowering  of  the  track  of  the  Missouri  Pacific  Rail- 
road through  the  city,  and  the  concentration  of  tracks  at  the 
Union  Depot. 

1  A  "History  of  the  St.  Louis  Bridge,  containing  a  full  ac- 
count of  every  step  in  its  construction  and  erection,  and  in- 
cluding the  theory  of  the  ribbed  arch  and  the  tests  of  mate- 
rials," written  by  Professor  C.  M.  Woodward,  was  published  in 
1882,  by  G.  I.  Jones  &  Co.,  of  St.  Louis. 

The  foundation  of  the  west  abutment  was  laid  in 
a  coffer-dam  at  a  depth  of  fifty-five  feet  below  extreme 
high  water.  The  other  great  piers  were  "sunk  "  to 
much  greater  depths  by  the  aid  of  compressed  air. 
The  west  pier  stands  on  the  rock  ninety-one  feet  below 
high  water ;  the  foundation  of  the  east  pier  is  one 
hundred  and  twenty-seven  feet  below  high-water 
mark,  and  the  east  abutment  extends  one  hundred 
and  thirty-five  feet  below  the  surface  of  extreme  high 
water.  The  sinking  of  these  piers  was  a  great  feat 
of  engineering  and  full  of  interest.  The  sinking  of 
the  east  pier  is  thus  described : 

The  caisson  of  the  east  pier  was  built  of  iron,  and 
was  eighty-two  feet  long,  sixty  feet  wide,  and  nine 
feet  deep. 

The  roof  and  sides  were  made  of  thick  iron  plates 
riveted  air-tight  and  strengthened  by  girders  and 
brackets.  A  temporary  wooden  bottom  was  used 
until  the  admission  of  compressed  air  from  powerful 
air-pumps  kept  the  interior  free  from  water  down  to 
the  "  cutting  edge"  of  the  caisson.  The  masonry  of 
the  pier  was  laid  upon  the  roof  of  the  caisson,  which 
it  completely  covered.  The  weight  of  the  masonry 
soon  caused  the  caisson  to  sink  deep  in  the  river,  ren- 
dering an  increased  air-pressure  necessary  to  keep 
the  caisson  free  of  water  and  to  support  the  load 
above.  On  the  roof  of  the  caisson  a  coffer-dam  was 
constructed  to  exclude  the  river.  The  caisson  was 
furnished  with  bearing-timbers  along  its  walls  and 
under  its  roof,  and  when  it  reached  the  river  bottom 
they  rested  evenly  upon  the  sand  and  gave  sufficient 
support  to  allow  the  masonry  to  be  built  above  the 
surface  of  the  river.  At  this  point  the  guides  and 
suspension  rods  which  had  been  used  to  control  the 
motion  of  the  caisson  were  removed,  and  the  further 
progress  of  the  pier  was  effected  by  undermining  the 
bearing-timbers  and  letting  the  whole  mass  go  down 
as  additional  masonry  was  laid  in  the  open  air  above. 

The  space  within  the  caisson  was  known  as  the 
"  air-chamber,"  and  it  is  evident  that  workmen  were 
needed  inside,  and  that  there  must  be  ready  means 
for  passing  in  and  out. 

Entrance  to  and  exit  from  the  air-chamber  was 
through  "  air-locks,"  seven  in  number.  These  air- 
locks were  in  form  vertical  cylinders,  made  of  one- 
half  inch  plate-iron.  The  central  lock,  which  was 
six  feet  in  diameter  and  six  feet  high,  was  wholly 
within  the  air-chamber.  In  fact,  the  roof  of  the 
caisson  formed  its  upper  base.  Adjoining  this  lock 
was  a  second  iron  cylinder  five  feet  in  diameter  and 
five  feet  deep,  sunk  through  the  roof  of  the  cais- 
son and  entirely  open  at  the  top.  The  air-lock  had 
two  strong,  tight- fitting  doors,  one  communicating 



Extreme  High  Water. 

City  Directrix. 

A,  Air  Looks. 

B,  Air  Chamber. 

C,  Timber  Girdo 

D,  Discharge       i 
Sand  Pump. 

E,  Sand  Pumps. 

with  the  open  air-cylinder  just  mentioned  and  swing- 
ing into  the  lock,  the  other  opening  into  the  air- 
chamber  and  swinging  from  the  lock.  Workmen 
generally  passed  in  and  out  through  the  central  lock. 

The  method  of  going  in  or  out  was  very  simple. 
The  outer  door  of  the  air-lock  being  open,  and  the 
inner  one,  of  course,  closed,  the  party  of  visitors,  for 
example,  descended  into  the  open  cylinder  near  the 
central  lock,  crawled  through  the  opening  into  the 
lock,  and  closed  the  door.  A  cock 
was  then  opened  which  allowed 
the  compressed  air  from  the 
chamber  to  enter  the  lock.  When 
the  air-pressure  within  the  lock 
equaled  that  in  the  chamber,  the 
other  door  readily  swung  open 
and  the  party  entered  the  air- 
chamber.  The  time  required 
in  entering  depended  upon  the 
pressure  in  the  chamber  and 
the  ability  of  the  persons  in  the 
lock  to  endure  the  change.  If 
the  air  was  let  on  rapidly,  and 
the  pressure  was  considerable, 
the  sensation  produced  was  very 
disagreeable.  The  compression 
of  the  air  in  the  lock  was  at- 
tended by  the  evolution  of  heat, 
and  though  the  air  was  saturated 
with  moisture  as  well  as  warm, 
there  was  no  difficulty  connected 
with  one's  breathing.  The  only 
serious  difficulty  to  a  visitor  was 
felt  in  his  ears.  The  pressure 
upon  the  exterior  of  the  drum 
was  very  painful  unless  soon  bal- 
anced by  internal  pressure.  This 
could  generally  be  produced  by 
vigorously  blowing  the  nose, 
thus  forcing  air  into  the  interior 
cavity  of  the  ear.  Capt.  Eads 
found  that  the  act  of  swallowing 
would  often  give  relief,  and  had 
a  pail  of  water  and  a  cup  placed 
in  the  lock.  In  some  cases,  however,  these  simple 
remedies  were  of  no  avail,  and  intense  pain  was  the 
result.  In  that  event  the  air  was  admitted  very  slowly. 

In  returning  from  the  chamber  the  operation  was 
equally  simple.  The  party  entered  the  lock,  closed 
the  inner  door,  and  opened  a  cock  which  allowed  the 
air  of  the  lock  to  escape  to  the  outside.  As  soon  as 
the  air-pressure  was  reduced  to  that  of  the  atmos- 
phere, the  outer  door  was  readily  opened.  The  phys- 

ical effects  of  reducing  the  pressure  were  very  different 
from  those  experienced  when  going  in.  The  expand- 
ing air  absorbed  heat,  and  one  literally  felt  the  chill 
to  the  very  marrow.  So  much  vital  heat  was  lost 
that  in  some  cases  the  effect  was  very  disastrous. 
There  was  much  in  the  habit  of  undergoing  these 
changes.  Certain  air-lock  men,  whose  duty  it  was  to 
take  visitors,  engineers,  and  workmen  in  and  out, 
became  so  used  to  sudden  changes  that  they  could, 



!•'.  Main       Entrance 


(J,  Side  Shafts. 
H,  Iron  Envelope. 
1,  Bracing  for  Shell. 
().  Strengthening 



without  apparent  injury  or  even  inconvenience,  endure 
surprisingly  rapid  changes  of  pressure. 

As  the  caisson  continued  to  sink  it  was  necessary 
to  remove  the  sand  from  the  air-chamber.  This  was 
done  by  means  of  the  "sand-pumps,"  an  exceedingly 
ingenious  device  invented  by  Capt.  Eads.  The  sand 
mixed  with  water  was  thrown  out  in  jets  with  great 
rapidity.  A  three-inch  pump  was  capable  of  discharg- 
ing sand  at  the  rate  of  three  hundred  cubic  yards  in 



twenty-four  hours.  The  pier  settled  on  the  average 
about  fifteen  inches  per  day. 

No  difficulty  was  experienced  in  causing  the  caisson 
to  settle  evenly  and  gently.  The  sand  was  trenched 
beside  the  bearing-timbers,  thus  allowing  a  slight  lateral 
motion  of  the  sand  as  it  yielded  to  the  pressure.  It 
was  soon  learned  that  the  admission  of  water  into  the 
air-chamber,  consequent  upon  a  slight  reduction  in 
the  air-pressure,  had  the  effect  of  increasing  the 
mobility  of  the  sand  so  as  to  bring  the  caisson  down 
with  an  exceedingly  gradual  motion. 

The  progress  of  the  east  pier  down  through  the 
sand  is  clearly  shown  in  the  illustration  on  the  pre- 
ceding page.  It  gives  a  cross-section  of  the  pier 
through  the  main  stairway,  a  circular  well  through 
which  the  workmen  descended  to  the  air-chamber. 
A  sand-pump  is  represented  as  at  work  within  the 
caisson,  and  men  are  supplying  it  with  sand. 

The  intensity  of  the  air-pressure  in  the  air-chamber 
of  the  east  pier  reached  a  maximum  of  about  sixty- 
five  pounds  per  square  inch,  or  about  fifty  pounds 
above  the  normal.  The  physiological  effects  of  long 
exposure  to  this  pressure  and  of  sudden  release  from 
it  were  at  times  very  severe.  During  the  construc- 
tion of  the  deep  piers  over  one  hundred  men  were 
violently  attacked  with  cramps  and  chills,  and  thirteen 
died  from  them. 

The  caissons  were  constructed  at  Carondelet,  under 
the  direction  of  the  chief  engineer  and  Capt.  William 
L.  Nelson  and  H.  G.  McComas,  the  great  caisson  for 
the  last  of  the  channel  piers  being  completed  and 
launched  Oct.  18,  1869. 

The  whole  time  occupied  in  sinking  the  east  pier 
to  the  rock  was  one  hundred  and  twenty-six  days, 
during  several  of  which  it  was  too  cold  to  lay  ma- 
sonry, and  at  other  times  it  was  impossible  to  furnish 
stone  on  account  of  the  ice. 

The  west  pier  was  sunk  in  seventy-seven  days. 

The  east  abutment,  the  largest  and  deepest  of  all, 
was  sunk  in  one  hundred  and  thirty-four  days.  The 
caisson  of  the  latter  contained  many  improvements 
over  the  others.  All  the  large  piers  are  faced  with 
gray  granite  down  to  low  water.  All  the  piers  had 
reached  the  rock-bed  by  the  beginning  of  1872,  and 
before  the  close  of  that  year  the  masonry  was  com- 
pleted, including  the  approach  arches  across  the  levees 
in  St.  Louis  and  East  St.  Louis. 

The  size  of  the  foundations  is  shown  as  follows : 

Extreme  height  from  Cubic  yards 

base  to  top  of  cornice,  of  masonry. 

West  abutment 112  feet  8J  inches.        12,643 

West  pier 172    "    1         "  U,170 

East  pier 197    "    H       "  17,820 

East  abutment 192    "    9         "  24,093 

The  plan  of  the  superstructure  of  the  great  bridge 
(which  was  contracted  for  Feb.  26,  1870)  is  as  bold 
as  the  foundations  and  even  more  original.  It  con- 
sists of  three  magnificent  steel  arches,  supporting  two 
railway  tracks,  and  a  broad  paved  causeway  for  high- 
way traffic  on  the  top  of  the  structure. 

The  spans  of  the  side  arches  are  each  five  hundred 
and  two  feet  in  the  clear,  and  the  central  arch  stretches 
five  hundred  and  twenty  feet  over  deep  water.  Each 
arch  consists  of  four  equal  ribs  placed  side  by  side  at 
intervals  of  sixteen  and  half  feet,  twelve  feet,  and 
sixteen  and  a  half  feet,  these  distances  being  between 

Each  rib  consists  of  two  parallel  members  or  sys- 
tems of  tubes,  twelve  feet  apart,  connected  by  a  single 
system  of  bracketing,  in  appearance  like  a  curved  tri- 
angular truss.  Each  tube  is  eighteen  inches  in  ex- 
ternal diameter  and  about  twelve  feet  long,  and  is  per- 
fectly straight,  with  slightly  beveled  ends.  The  tubes 
of  each  member  are  securely  coupled  together  by  two 
enveloping  half-cylinders,  and  the  steel  pins  which  re-, 
ceive  the  brace-bars  on  their  ends  pass  through  both 
.  couplings  and  tubes.  A  tube  consists  of  six  bars  of 
steel,  rolled  in  the  shape  of  straight  staves,  from  one 
and  three-sixteenths  to  two  and  one-eighth  inches  in 
thickness,  and  snugly  inserted  in  an  envelope  of  steel 
i  one-quarter  of  an  inch  thick. 

The  tubes  are  exquisitely  made,  and  the  arches  as 
beautiful  as  works  of  art. 

The  lateral  or  wind  bracing  consists  of  a  series  of 
diagonal  steel  ties  and  wrought-iron  tubular  struts  be- 
tween the  ribs,  and  an  upper  truss  between  the  two 
roadways.  The  latter  truss  for  the  centre  span  is  of 
iron,  forty-nine  feet  wide  and  five  hundred  and  forty 
feet  in  extreme  length. 

The  erection  of  the  arches  was  effected  by  a  method 
entirely  new  and  of  a  most  interesting  character,  in- 
vented by  Col.  Henry  Flad.  Only  the  briefest  ac- 
count of  its  successful  execution  can  be  given  here. 

The  end  tubes  of  each  rib  screw  into  massive 
wrought-iron  "  skew-backs,"  which  are  bolted  to  the 
masonry  by  long  steel  bolts  six  inches  in  diameter. 
In  the  case  of  the  channel  piers  the  anchor-bolts  are 
over  thirty  feet  long,  passing  quite  through  the  ma- 
sonry and  securing  the  skew-backs  on  both  faces.  In 
this  way  the  ribs  were  made  self-supporting,  as  they 
were  built  out  from  the  masonry.  In  some  instances 
nearly  a  hundred  feet  was  thus  built  without  addi- 
tional support.  The  weight  of  the  unfinished  ribs, 
however,  caused  the  outer  ends  to  fall  below  their 
normal  positions,  and  it  was  necessary  to  draw  them 
up  by  cables  passing  over  towers  erected  on  the  ma- 
sonry. These  cables  were  strained,  as  occasion  re- 



quired,  by  powerful  hydraulic  jacks,  which  lifted  the 
towers.  The  cables  lifted  the  deflected  arches  to 
their  normal  position  (and  even  above  it),  and  allowed 
the  ribs  to  be  built  still  farther  out.  The  deflected 
ends  of  these  second  extensions  were  supported  by 
secondary  cables,  which  passed  over  masts  standing 
on  the  ribs  at  the  joints,  supported  directly  by  the 
primary  cables,  and  thence  down  to  the  pins  in  the 
skew-back  tubes. 

By  such  means  semi-ribs,  stretching  two  hundred 
and  fifty  feet  over  the  Mississippi,  were  fully  sup- 
ported until  they  were  successfully  "  closed"  at  the 
crown.  The  minute  details  of  the  operation  of  closing 
the  ribs  form  an  interesting  feature  in  the  history  of 
the  bridge.  The  influence  of  temperature  and  elas- 
ticity was  strikingly  shown.  The  magnitude  of  the 
main  cables  may  be  estimated  from  the  fact  that  they 
were  made  of  the  best  rolled  iron,  and  each  had  a 
cross-section  of  forty-two  square  inches. 

The  total  weight  of  one  naked  rib  of  the  centre  span 
is  four  hundred  and  eighty-eight  thousand  two  hundred 
and  two  pounds.  The  total  amount  of  steel  in  the 
three  arches  is  four  million  seven  hundred  and  eighty 
thousand  pounds.  Of  wrought  iron  there  are  six 
million  three  hundred  and  thirteen  thousand  pounds. 

The  superstructure  of  the  bridge  was  constructed 
by  the  Keystone  Bridge  Company,  of  Pittsburgh, 
Pa.,  and  its  cost  was  $2,122,781.65.  The  approaches 
were  built  by  the  Baltimore  Bridge  Company.  The 
total  cost  of  the  entire  bridge,  including  the  approaches, 
was  $6,536,729.99.  If  to  this  we  add  interest,  land 
damages,  commissions  for  charters  and  financial  agents, 
hospital  expenses,  etc.,  the  sum  total  is  swelled  to 
nearly  ten  million  dollars.  The  bridge  was  completed 
and  opened  to  public  travel  on  the  23d  of  May, 

1  "  The  long-looked-for  opening  of  the  bridge  to  public  travel," 
said  the  Republican  of  May  24th,  "took  place  yesterday  morn- 
ing, as  previously  announced.  Six  o'clock  was  the  hour  fixed 
for  the  opening,  but  long  before  that  time  a  great  multitude  of 
people  had  gathered  around  the  office,  each  anxious  to  get  the 
first  ticket.  The  pressure  on  the  ticket-sellers  continued  for 
two  or  three  hours,  and  during  the  entire  day  they  were  kept 
reasonably  busy.  Many  more  tickets  were  sold  than  were  used, 
as  many  persons,  for  economy's  sake,  purchased  packages.  It 
is  understood  that  the  recipts  for  the  day  were  about  one  thou- 
sand dollars." 

The  first  person  who  purchased  tickets  on  May  23d,  accord- 
ing to  the  same  authority,  was  Charles  Gallagher,  night  clerk  in 
the  office  of  the  Republican.  In  announcing  this  fact  that  paper 
added,  "  He  was  present  waiting  for  the  office  to  open,  and  has 
the  following  certificate  to  show  the  facts  : 

"  '  Charles  Gallagher  bought  first  one  dollar's  worth  of  tickets 
and  crossed  the  bridge. 

(Signed)  '  F.  W.  GEISEKER. 

'"May  23,  1874.' 

On  the  9th  of  June  the  first  train  of  three  passen- 
ger-coaches, in  which  was  seated  a  select  party  of 
about  fifty  invited  guests,  connected  with  the  track  of 
the  bridge-approach  from  the  St.  Louis  and  Vandalia 
Railway  and  crossed  the  river,  running  as  far  into  the 
tunnel  as  Seventh  Street. 

At  the  suggestion  of  Sylvester  H.  Laflin,  an  im- 
posing celebration  in  honor  of  the  completion  of  the 
bridge  was  held  on  the  Fourth  of  July,  1874.  Bar- 
ton Able,  George  Bain,  and  other  leading  citizens  of 
St.  Louis  promptly  seconded  Mr.  Laflin's  proposition, 
and  a  meeting  to  take  preliminary  action  was  held  at 
the  Merchants'  Exchange  on  the  13th  of  June.  Capt. 
Barton  Able  presided,  and  George  H.  Morgan  acted 
as  secretary.  A  committee  was  appointed  to  make 
the  necessary  arrangements,  and  on  the  13th  a  com- 
mittee on  programme,  Chauncey  I.  Filley,  chairman  ;  a 
finance  committee,  Sylvester  H.  Laflin,  chairman  ;  and 
a  committee  jon  transportation,  Capt.  John  N.  Bofin- 
ger,  chairman,  were  selected.  On  the  1 6th  a  committee 
on  printing  was  appointed,  with  George  H.  Morgan 
as  chairman,  and  Arthur  B.  Barret,  afterwards  mayor 
of  the  city,  was  made  grand  marshal  of  the  day.  Mr. 
Barret  subsequently  appointed  Col.  C.  Maguire  as- 
sistant marshal,  and  G.  0.  Kalb  and  Henry  Benecke 
as  adjutants.  The  committees  as  finally  completed 
were  composed  of  the  following  persons : 

Committee  of  Arrangements. — Barton  Able  (chairman),  George 
H.  Morgan  (secretary.),  S.  H.  Laflin,  George  Bain,  John  S.  Cav- 
ender,  W.  H.  Maurice,  M.  J.  Lippman,  Web.  M.  Samuel,  D.  P. 
Rowland,  John  B.  Maude,  R.  M.  Scruggs,  C.  0.  Dutcher,  John 
N.  Bofinger,  John  W.  Carroll,  Chauncey  I.  Filley,  L.  L.  Ash- 
brook,  C.  Maguire,  John  0.  Farrar,  Arthur  B.  Barret,  J.  0. 
Broadhead,  S.  E.  Hoffman,  L.  S.  Metcalf,  C.  M.  Woodward, 
Charles  Osborne,  Henry  Benecke,  George  D.  Capen,  C.  L. 
Thompson,  Henry  T.  Blow,  Charles  Speck,  Isaac  M.  Mason, 
John  Riggin,  Jr.,  Robert  A.  Campbell,  J.  B.  C.  Lucas,  H.  Clay 
Sexton,  L.  Dorshimer,  R.  P.  Tansey,  Daniel  G.  Taylor,  George 
Knapp,  G.  W.  Fishback,  William  McKee,  Charles  A.  Mantz, 
Stilson  Hutchins,  W.  V.  Wolcott,  Emil  Preetorius,  A.  J.  Spaun- 
horst,  Carl  Daenzer,  Henry  Gambs,  Daniel  Able,  W.  A.  Braw- 
ner,  H.  M.  Blossom,  M.  L.  Cohn,  D.  R.  Risley,  John  McDonald, 
Abram  Nave,  Thomas  Kennard,  G.  W.  Chadbourne,  E.  A.  Carr, 
George  I.  Barnett,  B.  M.  Chambers,  W.  H.  Scudder,  Daniel  Cat- 
lin,  Joseph  Brown,  L.  A.  Moffett,  J.  T.  Howenstein,  C.  B.  Bray, 
Miles  Sells,  Gen.  Grierson,  Capt.  Babbitt,  Maj.  E.  B.  Grimes, 
Gen.  John  Turner,  Col.  C.  C.  Penrose,  Capt.  William  Hawley, 
James  Doyle,  John  H.  Beach,  Charles  Parsons,  R.  J.  Lack- 
land, J.  G.  Chapman,  R.  C.  Clowry,  John  H.  McCluney,  G.  0. 
Kalb,  Wallace  Delafield,  II.  W.  Hough,  W.  A.  Hargadine,  John 
Cantwell,  R.  M.  Renick,  J.  C.  Cabot,  George  Minch,  Charles  P. 
Warner,  James  M.  Brawner,  W.  H.  Pulsifer,  E.  S.  Walton,  A. 
W.  Slayback,  H.  H.  Wernse,  John  G.  Prather,  A.  B.  Pendle- 

"  It  has  been  stated,  as  we  understand,  that  Mr.  McMahon,  a 
superintendent  of  the  bridge,  was  the  first  man  to  cross.  This  is 
incorrect.  Mr.  McMahon  purchased  his  ticket  the  night  previous, 
and  was  not  legitimately  a  passenger,  being  an  employ^  of  the 
company.  Mr.  Gallagher  is  clearly  entitled  to  the  honor." 



ton,  James  B.  Clemens,  William  H.  Smith,  Nicholas  Wall,  Fred. 
Von    Phul,    W.    B.    Thompson,    Forester    Dolhonde,   Edmund 
Froehlich,  N.  Stevens,  M.  M.  Buck,  Herman  Rechtien,  Robert  j 
A.  Betts,  N.  M.  Bell,  Goodman  King,  Joseph  Franklin,  C.  N.  ! 
Hoblitzell,  J.  L.  D.  Morrison,  Joseph  A.  Wherry,  E.  S.  Mira- 

Committee  on  Finance. — S.  H.  Laflin  (chairman),  John  B. 
Maude,  Chauncey  I.  Filley,  George  Bain,  C.  0.  Butcher,  J.  T. 
Howenstein,  S.  Metcalf,  Arthur  B.  Barret,  George  I.  Barnett,   ; 
D.  P.  Rowland,  W.  A.  Hargadine,  John  H.  McCluney,  Wallace  ; 
Delafield,  George  D.  Capen,  C.  L.  Thompson,  H.  H.  Wernse,  L.  I 
L.  Ashbrook,  John  Cantwell,  W.  A.  Brawner,  H.  M.  Blossom, 
M.  L.  Cohn,  Thomas  Kennard,  Charles  Speck,  S.  M.  Dodd,  H. 
W.  Hough,  A.  W.  Slayback,  John  Kennard,  C.  B.  Bray,  E.  S. 
Walton,  James  S.  Brawner,  W.  B.  Thompson,  Robert  A.  Betts, 
Goodman  King,  Joseph  Franklin,  C.  J.  L.  Hoblitzell. 

Committee  on  Fireworks. — S.  H.  Laflin  (chairman),  W.  H. 
Maurice,  John  B.  Maude,  R.  M.  Scruggs,  D.  P.  Rowland. 

Committee  on  Programmes  and  Invitations. — Chauncey  I. 
Filley  (chairman),  D.  P.  Rowland,  John  B.  Maude,  Arthur  B. 
Barret,  John  W.  Carroll,  Barton  Able. 

Committee  on  Transportation. — Arthur  B.  Barret  (chairman), 
John  N.  Bofinger,  S.  H.  Laflin,  R.  P.  Tansey. 

Committee  on  Printing. — George  H.  Morgan  (chairman), 
Leslie  A.  Moffett,  J.  T.  Howenstein. 

Committee  on  Decorations. — George  I.  Barnett  (chairman), 
Dr.  J.  0.  Farrar,  Maj.  E.  B.  Grimes,  E.  S.  Miragoli,  Charles 
Speck,  Daniel  Able,D.  R.  Risley,  J.  H.  McCluney,  C.  B.  Bray, 
G.  0.  Kalb. 

Committee  on  Ordnance. — Capt.  Babbitt  (chairman),  S.  H. 
Laflin,  F.  W.  Fuchs,  John  B.  Gray,  John  S.  Cavender. 

Committee  on  Music. — George  Bain  (chairman),  G.  H.  Mor- 
gan, C.  0.  Butcher,  Rich.  J.  Compton. 

Committee  on  Harlor  and  Police. — L.  Borsheimer  (chairman), 
James  Boyle,  H.  Rechtien. 

Committee  on  Fire  Department. — H.  Clay  Sexton. 

Press  Committee. — George  W.  Gilson,  Democrat;  George 
Mills,  Times  ;  C.  Winter,  Westliche  Post ;  W.  B.  Stevens,  Dis- 
patch ;  J.  G.  Bill,  Republican;  T.  Mitchell,  Globe ;  C.  B. 
Kargau,  Anzeiger ;  Lewis  Willich,  Amerika ;  F.  Haarson, 
Courier  ;  Thomas  J.  Meek,  Journal ;  Charles  J.  Osborn,  agent 
Associated  Press.  • 

The  programme  determined  on  comprised  a  pro- 
cession, addresses,  display  of  fireworks,  etc.  The 
east  and  west  approaches  to  the  bridge  were  elabo- 
rately decorated,  and  at  the  Third  Street  entrance  a 
gigantic  portrait  of  Capt.  James  B.  Eads  was  dis- 
played. Immediately  underneath  the  portrait  were 
exhibited  two  large  symbolical  figures,  which  repre- 
sented Missouri  and  Illinois  clasping  hands.  At  the  | 
east  end  of  the  bridge,  and  just  at  the  point  where 
the  two  roadways  separate  and  begin  the  descent  to  < 
the  Illinois  shore,  a  great  triumphal  arch  was  erected, 
extending  from  side  to  side  of  the  bridge,  and  sur- 
mounting a  pavilion  which  separated  the  two  passage- 
ways of  the  arch  was  a  colossal  statue  of  the  Goddess 
of  Liberty.  To  the  left  of  the  Third  Street  entrance- 
gate  a  platform  was  erected  for  the  accommodation  of 
the  invited  guests.  Farther  on,  on  the  same  side  of 
the  roadway,  a  series  of  elevated  seats  was  provided 
on  one  of  the  buildings  adjoining  the  bridge  for  the 

families  of  the  bridge  officials.  The  decorations  were 
of  an  elaborate  and  tasteful  character,  and  on  the 
morning  of  the  Fourth  of  July,  beneath  a  cloudless 
sky,  presented  a  beautiful  and  imposing  spectacle. 
Many  buildings  in  the  city  were  also  decorated,  and 
at  Washington  Avenue  and  Ninth  Street  a  handsome 
triumphal  arch  was  erected  by  St.  Xavier's  College. 

On  the  wings  of  the  east  front  the  heraldic  arms 
of  the  States  of  Illinois  and  Missouri  were  painted, 
with  the  legend  above,  "  A  link  of  steel  unites  the 
East  and  West ;"  and  on  the  western  front  of  the 
arch,  tastefully  decorated  with  evergreens  and  fifty  feet 
high,  a  medallion  portrait  of  Capt.  Eads.  On  the 
wings  were  the  following :  "  The  Mississippi  dis- 
covered by  Marquette,  1673 ;  spanned  by  Capt. 
Eads,  1874."  "St.  Louis  founded  by  Laclede, 
1764 ;  crowned  Queen  of  the  West,  1874." 

Salutes  in  honor  of  the  bridge  and  the  day  were 
fired  by  Simpson  Battery,  under  the  direction  of 
Lieut.-Col.  F.  W.  Fuchs,  inspecting  and  mustering 
officer  for  St.  Louis  City  and  County,  who  was  placed 
in  charge  of  the  ordnance  and  firing  for  the  occasion. 

The  battery  consisted  of  four  guns,  four  caissons, 
and  fifty-six  men,  commanded  by  First  Lieut.  Charles 
Hiltwein  and  Second  Lieut.  A.  B.  Bayer. 

At  daylight  a  salute  of  thirteen  guns  was  fired  by 
the  battery  near  the  bridge  for  the  old  original  States. 

At  nine  o'clock  A.M.  one  hundred  guns  were  fired 
for  the  bridge,  fifty  on  each  side  of  the  river,  by  the 
same  battery,  the  firing  being  alternate,  commencing 
with  Missouri.  At  twelve  o'clock  (noon)  a  salute  of 
thirty-seven  guns  for  the  States  and  Territories  of  the 
Union  was  fired  on  the  Levee  by  the  ordnance  depart- 
ment of  Jefferson  Barracks,  under  command  of  Capt. 
Babbitt.  At  daylight  a  Federal  salute,  and  at  nine 
A.M.  a  national  salute  was  fired  by  Gen.  Grierson  at 
the  old  arsenal  grounds.  • 

The  procession  moved  at  a  few  minutes  past  nine 
o'clock  from  the  junction  of  Washington  and  Jeffer- 
son Avenues,  headed  by  a  squad  of  Metropolitan  po- 
lice under  command  of  Capt.  Huebler,  and  followed 
immediately  by  the  grand  marshal  and  his  aids,  twenty- 
two  of  whom  were  boys  mounted  on  ponies  and  wear- 
ing uniforms  of  black  jacket,  white  pantaloons,  and 
red  sash. 

Next  in  order  came  the  following  organizations : 
Company  of  United  States  cavalry,  Companies  A  and 
B  National  Guards,  company  of  Uhlans,  Knights  of 
Pythias,  Ancient  Order  of  Hibernians,  Knights  of 
Father  Mathew,  Druids,  Sons  of  Hermann,  members 
of  the  French  National  Aid  Society,  Turners,  Bohe- 
mian Gymnastic  Club,  Western  Star  Commandery 
(Knights  Templar),  Same  (Encampment),  United 



Brethren  of  Friendship,  Mutual  Aid  Society,  Labor- 
ers' Aid  Society,  United  League,  No.  1,  Real  Estate 
and  Beneficial  Society,  Old  Temperance  Society,  pre- 
ceded by  the  Bavarian  Band,  Irish  American  Benev- 
olent Society,  No.  1. 

In  addition  to  these  societies  the  procession  com- 
prised the  following  organizations: 

Merchants'  Exchange,  represented  by  a  large  ban- 
ner bearing  a  picture  of  the  Exchange,  and  the  offi- 
cers and  members  in  carriages. 

Fire  Department,  with  engines  and  apparatus  deco- 
rated with  flags,  wreaths  of  flowers,  etc.  H.  Clay 
Sexton,  chief,  on  horseback ;  Richard  Beggs,  J.  W. 
Barne,  and  Jacob  Trice,  assistants,  in  buggies,  and 
J.  W.  Tennelle,  secretary,  on  horseback. 

German  Singing  Societies,  Professor  E.  Froelich, 
leader.  The  societies,  headed  by  the  New  Orleans 
Orchestra,  numbered  six  hundred  men,  and  made  a 
fine  display  with  banners  and  decorations. 

Mechanics'  and  Manufacturers'  Exchange,  with  an 
Exchange  building  in  miniature.  The  building  had 
a  large  number  of  windows,  each  supposed  to  light 
the  office  of  one  of  the  many  trades  represented  in 
the  Exchange  membership,  and  over  each  of  these 
windows  was  painted  the  trade  represented,  such  as 
"  bricklayer,"  "  carpenter,"  etc.  Following  this,  in 
the  order  in  which  they  were  employed,  were  repre- 
sentatives on  wagons  in  long  procession  of  all  the  dif- 
ferent processes  necessary  to  the  construction  of  a 
complete  house, — architects,  excavators,  stone-masons, 
stone-cutters,  brick-makers,  bricklayers,  architectural 
iron-workers,  carpenters,  stair-builders,  roofers,  tin- 
ners, lightning-rod  men,  plumbers,  plasterers,  gas- 
fitters,  painters  and  glaziers,  paper-hangers,  grate  and 
mantel  manufacturers. 

The  marshal  of  this  department  was  Henry  Mil- 
burn,  and  the  following  were  his  aids:  T.  J.  Flanagan, 
adjutant;  Henry  Perks,  Lewis  Luthy,  James  Gilfoyle, 
C.  K.  Ramsey,  C.  Franz,  and  C.  Kammerer. 

The  directors  of  the  Exchange  preceded  this  portion 
of  the  procession  in  carriages.  They  were  as  follows: 
James  Luthy,  president ;  David  Cavanaugh,  C.  H. 
Frank,  J.  H.  Maurice,  John  Norris,  William  McCully, 
C.  Lynch,  T.  P.  McKelleget,  James  Garvin,  Martin 
Ittner,  John  Stoddart,  A.  S.  McBride,  W.  S.  Stamps, 

St.  Louis  Life  Insurance  Company,  of  which  Capt. 
Eads  was  president,  with  afac-simile  of  the  company's 
building  at  Sixth  and  Locust  Streets. 

Independent  Order  of  Odd  Fellows,  numbering 
from  twelve  hundred  to  fifteen  hundred  men. 

Grand  officers  of  Grand  Lodge  :  L.  T.  Minturn,  M. 
W.  G.  M. ;  Alfred  Bennett,  R!  W.  D.  G.  M. ;  J.  S. 

Maitland,  R.  W.  G.  W. ;  E.  M.  Sloan,  R.  W.  G.  Sec. ; 

W.  H.  Thompson,  R.  W.  G.  Treas. ;-  A.  M.  Alexander, 

M.  C.  Libby,  R.  W.  G.  Representatives ;  Rev.  E.  D. 

Isbell,  W.  G.  Chap. ;  J.  M.  Gilkeson,  W.  G.  Marshal. 

Past  Grand  Masters :  Gerard  B.  Allen,  Elihu  H. 

Shepard,   Isaac   M.  Veitch,  Henry   Holmes,   C.   C. 

Archer,  Isaiah  Forbes,  J.  F.  Sheifer,  J.  R.  Lackland, 

Ira  Stansberry,  J.  C.  Nulsen,  John  Doniphan,  E.  M. 

i  Sloan,  H.  H.  Bodeman,  M.  C.  Libby,  E.  Wilkerson, 

|  W.  H.  Thompson. 

Grand  officers  of  Grand  Encampment :  J.  J.  Meier, 

!  M.  W.  G.  P. ;  J.  S.  Maitland,  M.  E.  G.  H.  P. ;  E. 

1  S.  Pike,  R.  W.  G.  S.  W. ;  R.  E.  McNuly,  R.  W.  G. 

I  Scribe;  William  Berry,  R.  W.  G.  Treas.;    Daniel 

Kerwin,  E.  R.  Shipley,  R.  W.  G.  Representatives. 

Past  Grand  Patriarchs :  A.  G.  Braun,  Alexander 
Peterson,   Thomas   Gerrard,  A.   G.   Trevor,   W.   H. 
|  Woodward. 

Uniformed  Patriarchs:  E.  Wilkerson,  chief  mar- 
shal ;  A.  G.  Hequembourg,  first  assistant  marshal  (in 
j  command) ;  F.  A.  Cavendish,  second  assistant  mar- 
!  shal. 

First  Division,  Daniel  Kerwin,  marshal ;  Second 
Division,  Thomas  Bennet,  marshal ;  Third  Division, 
j  Henry  Diers,  marshal. 

United  States  officials.    The  custom -house  employes 
!  exhibited  a  full-rigged  brig,  twenty-six  feet  long,  em- 
i  blematic  of  commerce,  mounted  on  wheels,  and  drawn 
'  by  eight  horses.    The  vessel  was  named  the  "  James  B. 
i  Eads,"  and  was  "  commanded"  by  Henry  P.  Wyman, 
special  deputy  collector.     The  post-office  was  repre- 
sented by  a  six-horse  wagon  bearing  the  post-office 
seal,  post- rider,  railway  train,  and  telegraph  wire,  with 
coat  of  arms  of  the  United  States,  the  whole  deoorated 
with  flags,  evergreens,  etc.,  three  messenger-wagons, 
— one  each  for  North,  South,  and  West  St.  Louis, 
— and  one  hundred  letter-carriers,  mounted  and  on 

Brewers'  Association,  with  a  representation  of  King 
Gambrinus  on  his  throne,  the  king  being  personated 
by  Jacob  Schorr. 

The  various  other  trades  and  industries  of  St.  Louis 
were  also  fully  represented  by  delegations,  with  ban- 
ners, appropriate  devices,  etc. 

The  St.  Louis  Rowing  Club  had  a  boat  suspended 
to  a  wagon,  with  oars,  flags,  and  other  decorations. 
A  number  of  the  members  of  the  club  were  in  the 
boat,  imitating  nautical  acts. 

The  Western  Rowing  Club  had  two  boats  and  two 
teams,  likewise  accompanied  by  members  of  the  club, 
and  finely  decorated. 

The  members  of  the  City  Council  in  carriages,  and 
all  the  engines  and  hose-carriages  in  the  city  in  holi- 



day  attire,  led  by  Chief  Sexton,  were  the  closing  fea- 
tures of  the  procession.  The  engines  had  hardly 
gotten  into  line,  however,  after  waiting  all  the  fore- 
noon, when  an  alarm  of  fire  was  sounded  from  Seven- 
teenth and  Franklin  Avenue.  By  a  previous  under-  | 
standing,  those  engines  which  were  already  under 
head  of  steam  responded  to  the  alarm,  and  as  they 
darted  through  the  crowded  streets  with  the  horses  at 
a  gallop  there  was  great  confusion  and  excitement. 
No  accidents  happened,  however,  and  order  was  soon 
restored,  the  procession  ending  as  was  laid  down  in 
the  programme,  after  having  passed  through  the  prin- 
cipal streets  in  the  city  to  the  bridge. 

One  of  the  features  of  the  celebration  was  the  pas- 
sage of  a  train  of  cars  across  the  bridge  from  East  St. 
Louis  to  the  exit  of  the  tunnel  on  the  St.  Louis  side. 
The  train  was  composed  of  fifteen  palace  sleeping- 
cars  and  three  powerful  locomotives,  contributed  by 
the  Vandalia  and  Illinois  Central  Companies.  The 
entire  train  was  in  charge  of  W.  H.  Finkbine,  con- 
ductor on  the  Vandalia  road  for  twenty-three  years. 
His  assistants  were,  on  the  first  engine,  No.  62,  Wil- 
liam Consen ;  second  engine,  No.  70,  William  Vansen. 
The  brakemen  were  Job  Graves,  William  Colburn,  H. 
Schumaker,  A.  C.  Thornton,  H.  W.  Orvell,  Thomas 
Mirton,  John  Brown,  John  Mallory,  James  Binkley, 
M.  B.  Mason,  and  Michael  Brazill. 

The  officials  of  the  Vandalia  Railway  on  board  the 
train  in  crossing  were  John  E.  Simpson,  general  super- 
intendent; N.  Stevens,  general  agent;  and  N.  K.  El- 
liott, master  of  transportation. 

Among  the  passengers  on  the  train  were  Senator  L. 
V.  Bogy,  Hon.  Silas  Woodson,  Governor  of  Missouri; 
Governor  Beveridge,  of  Illinois ;  Governor  Hendricks, 
of  Indiana ;  Judge  Napton,  St.  Louis ;  Judge  H.  M. 
Jones,  St.  Louis;  Judge  Hamilton,  St.  Louis;  Judge 
John  M.  Krum,  St.  Louis  ;  Hon.  Hugh  Moffat,  mayor 
of  Detroit ;  Hon.  D.  R.  Wright,  mayor  of  Oswego, 
Kan. ;  Hon.  E.  0.  Stanard,  Hon.  James  S.  Rollins, 
Columbia,  Mo. ;  Hon.  George  Bain,  Capt.  Bart  Able, 
Web  M.  Samuel,  president  Merchants'  Exchange,  and 
many  other  leading  citizens  of  St.  Louis  and  elsewhere. 

On  the  grand  stand  on  the  open  area  at  the  corner 
of  Washington  Avenue  and  Third  Street,  were  seated 
the  following  persons,  named  in  the  order  of  their 
arrival :  Gen.  W.  S.  Harney,  Hon.  T.  C.  Harris,  mem- 
ber of  the  Legislature  from  Phelps  County ;  Hon. 
George  B.  Clark,  State  Auditor ;  J.  H.  Waugh,  of 
Columbia;  Hon.  H.  Clay  Ewing,  attorney-general  of 
Missouri;  ex-Governor  B.  Gratz  Brown,  Judge  Sam- 
uel Treat,  Hon.  E.  0.  Stanard,  Dr.  Samuel  Read, 
president  of  Missouri  State  University  ;  Hon.  John  F.  j 
Cooke,  British  vice-consul ;  Gerard  B.  Allen,  Capt.  I 

James  B.  Eads,  Barton  Able,  Maj.  Grimes,  United 
States  army ;  Hon.  James  S.  Rollins,  Hon.  L.  V. 
Bogy,  Col.  R.  B.  Price,  of  Columbia ;  Judge  John 
M.  Krum,  Chauncey  I.  Filley,  S.  D.  Barlow,  George 
I.  Barnett,  Hon.  N.  M.  Bell,  Capt.  Samuel  Pepper, 
ex-Governor  Thomas  C.  Fletcher,  Judge  Speck,  Col. 
J.  L.  D.  Morrison,  William  A.  Lynch,  Governor  Bev- 
eridge, of  Illinois ;  Hon.  John  D.  Perry,  Rev.  Dr. 
Brookes,  Maj. -Gen.  W.  S.  Hancock,  Richard  Dow- 
ling,  J.  Wilson  McDonald,  the  sculptor ;  Hon.  Web 
M.  Samuel,  president  of  the  Merchants'  Exchange ; 
John  Baptiste  Hortey,  the  oldest  native  citizen  of  St. 
Louis ;  Unit  Pasin,  David  A.  Harvey,  L.  Harrigan, 
chief  of  police;  William  A.  Cozens,  Sullivan  Blood, 
Samuel  Hawken,  Robert  D.  Sutton,  H.  B.  Belt,  David 
A.  Harris,  Arrible  and  Antone  Cayore,  J.  H.  Britton, 
James  H.  Heath,  Hon.  Charles  H.  Hardin  and  Hon. 
David  Moore,  of  the  State  Senate ;  Col.  Joseph  L. 
Stevens,  of  Boonville ;  Capt.  John  Sibille,  a  veteran 
of  the  war  of  1812  ;  Gen.  Nathan  Ranney,  Hon.  Wells 
Blodgett,  Hon.  John  F.  Darby,  Col.  John  L.  Phillips, 
of  Sedalia;  John  F.  Tolle,  United  States  Senator 
Ferry,  of  Michigan  ;  Hon.  Erastus  Wells,  W.  Milnor 
Roberts,  consulting  engineer  of  the  bridge,  and  C. 
Shaler  Smith,  engineer;  Hon.  H.  C.  Brockmeyer, 
United  States  collector;  E.  W.  Fox,  Col.  D.  M. 
Renick,  Dr.  Barret,  S.  H.  Laflin,  Col.  R.  A.  Camp- 
bell, L.  H.  Murray,  of  Springfield,  Mo. ;  D.  Robert 
Barclay,  Col.  Ferdinand  Myers,  Dr.  William  Taussig, 
Carlos  S.  Greeley,  Governor  Woodson,  Miles  Sells, 
State  Senator  Allen,  George  Bain,  Mayor  Brown,  Gen. 
Wilson,  J.  R.  Lionberger,  John  Jackson,  J.  S.  Welsh, 
N.  S.  Chouteau,  Capt.  Fitch,  United  States  navy ;  J. 
F.  How. 

Among  the  ladies  who  graced  the  occasion  with 
their  presence  were  Mrs.  Governor  Woodson,  Mrs. 
Governor  Brown,  Mrs.  H.  Clay  Ewing,  Mrs.  J.  H. 
Britton,  Miss  Hutt,  of  Troy,  Mo. ;  Miss  Fanny  Britton, 
Mrs.  C.  K.  Dickson,  Miss  Dickson,  Miss  Chouteau, 
Mrs.  J.  Jackson,  Mrs.  J.  B.  Eads,  Miss  Addie  Eads, 
Mrs.  J.  H.  Britton,  Miss  F.  Britton,  Mrs.  J.  R.  Lion- 
berger, Miss  Lionberger,  Mrs.  William  Taussig,  Miss 
Taussig,  Mrs.  H.  Flad,  Miss  Flad,  Mrs.  G.  B.  Allen, 
Miss  Hodgman. 

The  exercises  opened  with  prayer  by  Rev.  Dr. 
Brookes,  after  which  addresses  were  delivered  by  Capt. 
Barton  Able,  Hon.  Joseph  Brown,  mayor  of  St. 
Louis,  Governor  Beveridge,  of  Illinois,  Governor 
Woodson,  of  Missouri,  Hon.  B.  Gratz  Brown,1  Capt. 

1  In  the  course  of  his  address  Governor  Brown  gave  an  inter- 
esting sketch  of  the  legislation  of  Congress  in  relation  to  the 
bridge,  as  follows :  "  Ever  since  the  earliest  act  incorporating 
St.  Louis  the  necessity  of  establishing  some  permanent  way 



James  B.  Eads.1  Governor  Hendricks,  of  Indiana, 
and  Hon.  Thomas  W.  Ferry,  of  Michigan.  The 
speeches  were  varied  with  singing  by  the  various 
singing  societies  present,  led  by  Professor  E.  Froelich. 

across  the  great  river  has  impressed  itself  upon  the  minds  of  our 
people.  On  two  or  three  occasions  this  has  taken  shape  in  char- 
ters proposed  or  passed  by  the  Legislatures  of  the  adjoining 
States,  but  as  they  were  necessarily  inoperative  in  the  absence 
of  any  congressional  sanction,  they  failed  to  attract  investment. 
At  length,  however,  the  demand  for  greater  facilities  of  transit 
forced  itself  into  national  importance,  and  in  commemoration  of 
the  enterprise  it  may  be  stated  that  it  was  on  the  4th  day  of 
December,  1865,  that  notice  was  given  in  the  Senate  of  the 
United  States  of  intent  to  bring  in  a  bill  to  authorize  the  con- 
struction of  a  bridge  across  the  Mississippi  River  at  the  city  of 
St.  Louis.  On  the  18th  day  of  December  the  bill  was  presented 
and  appropriately  referred.  It  was  reported  back  from  the 
committee  March  22,  1866,  and  laid  over  until  a  subsequent  [ 
day  for  action.  The  discussion  which  followed  was  animated,  : 
elicited  much  hostile  criticism,  and  the  bill  was  only  passed 
after  an  elucidation  which  seemed  to  render  it  innocuous  in  the 
eyes  of  its  most  violent  opponents.  Subsequently  a  bill  re- 
lating exclusively  to  bridges  and  post-routes  on  the  upper  Mis- 
sissippi caine  back  to  the  Senate  from  the  House  of  Representa- 
tives, and  was  referred  to  the  Committee  on  Post-offices.  The 
bill,  which  had  passed  the  Senate,  it  was  found  had  been  sup- 
pressed in  the  committee  of  the  House.  The  situation  was 
critical,  the  calendar  was  loaded  down,  the  session  was  closing. 
It  was  then  that  the  appeal  was  made  to  the  committee  in  the 
Senate  to  engraft  by  way  of  amendment  the  Senate  bill  upon 
the  House  bill,  and  after  much  (fontroversy  this  was  finally  as- 
sented to,  so  reported  back  and  passed,  the  House  concurring 
therein  in  the  expiring  hours  of  the  Congress. 

"  It  was  in  virtue  of  riparian  rights  conceded  by  Illinois  and 
Missouri,  under  the  sanction  of  an  act  of  the  National  Congress, 
and  sustained  by  the  indorsement  of  our  own  Chamber  of  Com- 
merce, that  this  bridge  was  undertaken.  Historically,  therefore^ 
it  seemed  to  grow  out  of  the  necessities  of  the  age.  But  the 
point  to  which  I  wish  to  invite  your  attention  is  this,  that,  so 
great  was  the  antagonism  from  rival  commercial  routes,  it  was 
only  when  the  provisions  of  the  congressional  act  had  been 
made  to  declare  that  the  central  span  should  not  be  less  than 
five  hundred  feet  nor  the  elevation  less  than  fifty  feet  above  the 
city  directrix  that  hostility  could  be  so  allayed  as  to  permit  the 
passage  of  the  bill.  It  was  upon  the  tacit  assumption  by  its 
opponents  of  its  utter  impracticability  that  antagonism  gave 
way.  In  fact,  the  utterance  was  then  and  there  boldly  made 
that  the  genius  did  not  exist  in  the  country  capable  of  erecting 
such  a  structure.  Others,  however,  had  more  faith,  and  to-day 
you  behold  the  accomplishment  of  what  was  thus  derided  as  im- 
possible; you  see  the  requirement  of  the  law  fulfilled  in  all  its 
strictness;  you  see  those  spans  of  five  hundred  feet  leaping 
agile  from  base  to  base;  you  see  those  tapering  piers  bedded  on 
the  immovable  rock,  deep  down  below  the  homeless  sands,  and 
rising  to  gather  the  threads  of  railways  and  roadways  high  in 
the  upper  air;  and  you  see,  caught  as  if  by  inspiration,  beauty 
there  in  all  its  flowing  proportion,  and  science  there  in  its  rare 
analysis  of  the  strength  of  materials,  and  an  endurance  there 
for  all  time  in  its  bond  of  iron  and  steel  and  granite  to  resist 
force  and  fire  and  flood." 

1  With  regard  to  the  permanence  of  the  structure,  Capt.  Eads 
said,  "  I  am  justified  in  declaring  that  the  bridge  will  exist  just 
as  long  as  it  continues  to  be  useful  to  the  people  who  come  after 
us,  even  if  its  years  should  number  those  of  the  pyramids.  That 

In  addition  to  the  ceremonies  at  the  bridge,  there 
was  a  display  of  steamboats  in  the  harbor,  which  were 
arranged  near  the  bridge  according  to  "  the  rainbow 
plan,"  the  boats  taking  position  in  three  tiers,  the 
smallest  vessels  being  in  front. 

At  night  there  was  a  grand  display  of  fireworks 
from  the  bridge,  among  the  pieces  being  a  representa- 
tion of  the  bridge  itself,  a  colossal  statue  of  Washing- 
ton, a  grand  "  Temple  of  Honor,"  with  a  statue  of  Capt. 
Eads  in  the  centre,  and  a  representation  of  the  new 
Chamber  of  Commerce  building. 

The  bridge  as  it  now  stands  is  one  of  the  marvels 
of  modern  engineering.  It  is  a  two-story  structure, 
the  great  arches  which  we  have  described  carrying 
double-track  railways,  and  above,  a  broad  highway 
seventy-five  feet  in  width.  On  this  are  promenades 
on  either  side  and  four  tracks  or  iron  tramways  for 
street-cars  and  ordinary  road-wagons.  Thus  four  ve- 
hicles may  be  hauled  abreast  along  this  spacious  ele- 
vated roadway  and  then  not  blockade  it  so  as  to  prevent 
persons  passing  on  foot  and  on  horseback. 

This  roadway  is  formed  by  transverse  iron  beams 
twelve  inches  in  depth,  supported  by  iron  struts  of 
cruciform  sections  resting  on  the  arches  at  the  points 
where  the  vertical  bracings  of  the  latter  are  secured. 
The  railways  beneath  are  carried  on  transverse  arch- 
like  beams  of  steel  secured  to  the  struts,  which,  based 
upon  the  arches,  support  the  right  of  the  carriageway 
as  well.  Between  the  iron  beams  forming  the  road- 
ways four  parallel  systems  of  longitudinal  wooden 
members  are  introduced,  extending  from  pier  to  pier, 
which  serve  the  purpose  of  maintaining  the  iron  in 
position.  The  ends  of  these  wooden  beams  rest  upon 
the  flanges  of  the  beams,  and  are  thus  secured  from 
moving.  On  these  the  sills  of  the  roadway  and  the 
cross-ties  of  the  railways  are  laid.  From  the  oppo- 
site ends  of  the  iron  beams,  a  double  system  of  diag- 

its  piers  will  thus  endure  but  few  will  doubt,  while  the  peculiar 
construction  of  its  superstructure  is  such  lhat  any  piece  jn  it  can 
be  easily  taken  out  and  examined,  and  replaced  or  renewed, 
without  interrupting  the  traffic  on  the  bridge.  The  effect  of 
temperature  upon  the  arches  is  such  that  in  oold  weather  the 
lower  central  tubes  and  the  upper  abutment  tubes  composing  the 
spans  are  so  relieved  of  strain  that  any  one  of  them  may  be  un- 
coupled from  the  others  and  easily  removed.  In  hot  weather 
the  upper  ones  of  the  centre  and  the  lower  ones  near  the  piers 
may  be  similarly  removed.  In  completing  the  western  span, 
two  of  the  lower  tubes  of  the  inside  ribs  near  the  middle  of  the 
span  were  injured  during  erection,  and  were  actually  uncoupled 
and  taken  out  without  any  difficulty  whatever  after  the  span 
was  completed,  and  two  new  ones  put  in  their  place  within  a 
few  hours. 

"This  is  a  feature  in  its  construction  possessed  by  no  other 
similar  work  in  the  world,  and  it  justifies  me  in  saying  that  this 
bridge  will  endure  as  long  as  it  is  useful  to  man." 



onal  horizontal  iron  bracing  serves  to  bind  the  whole 
firmly  together,  and  gives  additional  support  against 

The  calculation  made  for  the  strength  of  the  bridge 
was  that  it  should  carry  the  weight  of  the  greatest 
number  of  people  who  could  stand  on  the  roadway 
above,  and  at  the  same  time  have  each  railway  track 
below  covered  from  end  to  end  with  locomotives,  and 
this  enormous  load  to  tax  the  strength  of  the  bridge 
to  the  extent  of  less  than  one-sixth  of  the  ultimate 
strength  of  the  steel  of  which  the  arches  have  been 
constructed.  It  is  computed  that  the  ultimate  strength 
of  the  material  of  which  this  structure  is  composed 
will  sustain  on  the  three  arches  twenty-eight  thousand 
nine  hundred  and  seventy-two  tons  before  it  would 
give  way  under  it.  The  maximum  load,  however, 
which  can  be  allowed  on  the  bridge  at  any  one  time 
is  much  less  than  the  enormous  burden  which  we  have 
mentioned.  The  weight  of  the  bridge  and  the  load 
which  it  should  sustain  at  the  maximum  of  the  al- 
lowance for  perfect  safety  is  7  ^5-  tons  per  lineal 
foot,  or  about  10,865  tons.  The  thrust  of  each  end 
of  the  arch  is  received  on  a  surface  of  granite  equal 
to  24  square  feet,  and  as  each  span  has  four  arches,  it 
follows,  therefore,  that  the  thrust  of  the  arches  is  re- 
ceived on  a  surface  of  576  square  feet  of  granite.  At 
10,000  pounds  to  the  square  inch — a  low  rate  of 
strength  for  granite — to  crush  it  414,770  tons  would 
be  required.  A  weight  so  enormous  could  never  be 
placed  on  the  piers  or  arches.  No  danger  then  exists 
of  the  piers  being  crushed  by  the  tremendous  thrust  of 
the  immense  five  hundred  feet  arches. 

There  is  no  other  bridge  of  the  arch  or  truss  pat- 
tern which  can  be  compared  to  this.     The  Kuilinburg  j 
bridge  across  the  Leek,  an  arm  of  the  Rhine,  or  rather  j 
the  Zuyder  Zee,  in  Holland,  which  is  one  of  the  most 
famous  structures  of  the  kind  in  Europe,  is  a  truss 
bridge  of  515  feet  span.     The  Menai  bridge  is  an 
arch  of  500  feet. 

The  eastern  approach  is  a  great  work  apart  from 
the  bridge  to  which  it  leads.  This  portion  of  the 
work  was  executed  by  the  Baltimore  Bridge  Company, 
under  the  supervision  of  Col.  C.  Shaler  Smith.  The 
grand  highway,  leaving  the  stone  arch  supports  on  the 
East  St.  Louis  side,  is  carried  across  a  space  of  some 
sixty  feet  on  immense  steel  columns,  which  support 
great  iron  girders.  About  eighty  feet  from  the  stone 
arch  the'  road  divides,  and  begins  to  descend  at  the 
rate  of  about  three  feet  to  the  hundred.  This  divis- 
ion was  rendered  essential  in  order  to  conduct  the 
railway  tracks  along  at  a  rate  of  descent  of  about  one 
foot  to  the  hundred.  About  four  hundred  feet  to  the 
eastward  of  the  bridge  proper  the  highways  and  rail- 

road tracks  are  on  a  level.  But  the  railways  from 
that  point  eastward,  because  of  its  easier  grade,  are 
elevated  above  the  roadways  on  either  side.  At  Third 
Street,  East  St.  Louis,  the  highways  are  terminated 
on  the  level  of  the  street.  Where  the  grade  of  the 
railways  rises  about  ten  feet  above  the  grade  of  the 
carriageways  there  is  a  broad  level  platform,  and  a 
double  roadway  turns  westward  under  the  railway  and 
reaches  the  grade  of  the  street  on  Second  Street.  The 
roadways  from  this  turning  platform  are  continued  on 
to  the  level  of  Dike  Avenue  beyond,  about  two  hun- 
dred feet.  The  railways  are  conducted  over  Dike 
Avenue,  East  St.  Louis,  on  an  iron  viaduct,  at  a  grade 
of  one  foot  to  the  hundred,  about  three  thousand 
feet,  to  the  east  bank  of  Cahokia  Creek,  where  it  at- 
tains the  level  of  the  concentring  railways.  The 
railways  and  the  roadways  as  well  turn  an  easy  curve 
to  the  northeast  when  about  two  hundred  and  fifty 
feet  east  of  the  stone  piers.  This  approach  of  itself 
is  a  great  work  splendidly  accomplished. 

The  situation  of  the  bridge  and  the  peculiar  topog- 
raphy of  the  city  made  it  impossible  that  the  work 
could  be  accomplished  without  rendering  the  construc- 
tion of  a  subterranean  approach  necessary.  *  If  the 
bridge  had  been  built  on  a  more  elevated  plan  it 
would  have  necessitated  the  passage  of  steam-pro- 
pelled trains  across  and  tnrough  the  thronged  thor- 
oughfares of  a  populous  city.  Had  the  bridge  been 
located  at  Biddle  or  Bates  Street  it  would  have  been 
necessary  to  carry  the  railways  over  the  streets  and 
on  out  Cass  Avenue,  a  much-traveled  thoroughfare. 
The  height  of  the  bridge  above  the  water  is  the  mini- 
mum which  a  due  regard  for  the  great  navigation  in- 
terests of  the  river  would  have  permitted.  The  western 
landing  of  the  bridge  is  on  one  of  the  highest  points 
of  Third  Street.  The  grade  brings  the  highway  from 
the  bridge  arches  down  to  the  level  of  this  street, 
leaving  at  that  place  a  depth  of  fourteen  feet  in  which 
to  commence  the  underground  passageway  from  the 
bridge  to  the  Mill  Creek^ valley.  It  seems  as  though 
nature  intended  that  in  St.  Louis  a  mighty  railway 
interest  should  concentrate  and  be  provided  with  facili- 
ties for  the  transaction  of  business  without  iuterferin°' 


with  intercommunication  in  the  city.  In  the  future, 
even  more  than  now,  will  the  selection  of  a  location 
for  the  bridge,  which  necessitated  a  tunnel,  be  es- 
teemed the  wisest  that  could  have  been  made.  The 
great  traffic  of  the  railways  can  go  on  and  the  throng- 
ing myriads  of  the  city's  population  will  rush  along 
undisturbed  by  the  trains  that  carry  the  products  of 
a  vast  continent  underneath  the  ground. 

It  was  early  seen  that  an  approach  tunnel  would 
have  to  be  built  to  get  trains  to  the  western  terminus 



of  the  bridge.  Indeed,  that  followed  inevitably  the 
Eads  location  of  the  bridge  itself.  For  the  construc- 
tion of  the  tunnel  a  company  was  organized  with  Dr. 
William  Taussig  as  president. 

After  mature  consideration  a  plan  was  drawn  up 
which  involved  the  building  of  a  double  tunnel,  and 
was  adopted.  A  route  along  Washington  Avenue  to 
Seventh  Street,  with  a  curve  from  that  point  to  Eighth 
and  Locust  Streets,  thence  down  Eighth  Street  to  Pop- 
lar, was  selected,  and  arrangements  perfected  to  put 
the  work  under  contract. 

The  necessary  financial  arrangements,  surveys,  and 
estimates  having  been  made,  the  tunnel  company,  in 
the  autumn  of  1872,  awarded  a  contract  to  Messrs. 
Skrainka  &  Co.,  who,  after  working  several  months, 
threw  up  the  contract,  which  was  then  awarded  to 
James  Andrews,  of  Allegheny,  Pa.  The  new  con- 
tractor set  about  the  execution  of  the  task  April  16, 
1873,  with  great  energy.  A  large  number  of  laborers 
were  employed,  and  the  work  of  excavating  the  great 
tunnel  and  building  the  huge  stone  walls  to  support 
the  heavy  arches  was  pushed  forward  with  great  ra- 

It  was  no  small  task  the  contractor  had  assumed. 
Before  it  was  completed  there  had  been  removed  two 
hundred  and  fifteen  thousand  cubic  yards  of  earth 
from  the  tunnel  canal,  and  the  stone  masonry  required 
on  the  work  was  fifty  thousand  cubic  yards.  Thirteen 
millions  of  bricks  have  been  used  in  the  arches  of  this 
great  underground  passageway.  The. whole  length 
of  the  tunnel  is  four  thousand  eight  hundred  and 
eighty  feet,  or  sixteen  hundred  and  twenty-three  yards 
and  one  foot,  almost  one  mile.  There  are  two  tunnels 
really,  divided  by  a  heavy  wall  which  supports  the 
arches  that  spring  from  it  in  either  direction.  The 
width  of  these  tunnels  is  fourteen  feet  each,  except 
at  the  curve,  where  they  are  fifteen  feet  wide.  From 
the  top  of  the  rail  to  the  interior  crown  of  the  arches 
the  height  is  sixteen  feet  six  inches. 

The  arrangement  of  a  double  tunnel  covered  under 
the  street  by  two  longitudinal  arches  not  only  renders 
collisions  in  the  tunnel  absolutely  impossible,  but  also 
greatly  increases  the  strength  of  the  arches,  which 
not  only  support  their  own  weight,  but  must  carry  the 
weight  of  the  streets  and  the  immense  traffic  of  the 
most  traveled  thoroughfare  in  the  city.  On  Eighth 
Street  between  Locust  and  Olive,  the  location  of  the 
new  post-office,  the  roof  of  the  tunnel  is  composed  of 
immense  longitudinal  iron  girders,  supported  on  heavy 
cast-iron  pillars.  On  these  longitudinal  sills  of  iron 
rest  lateral  girders  scarcely  less  ponderous.  The 
spaces  between  these  are  filled  by  transverse  brick 
arches.  At  this  point  the  roadways  open  wider  so  as 

to  admit  of  the  exchange  of  mails.  By  means  of 
hopper-like  receptacles  the  mail  on  the  cars  may  be 
completely  discharged  in  thirty  seconds,  and  a  similar 
place  of  deposit  for  the  outgoing  mails  enables  the 
train  agent  to  get  the  bags  on  board  in  about  the  same 

The  distance  from  the  entrance  of  the  tunnel  at  its 
southern  terminus  to  the  northern  terminus  of  the 
railway  approach  east  of  Cahokia  Creek,  East  St. 
Louis,  is  eleven  thousand  feet,  which  is  three  thou- 
sand six  hundred  and  sixty-six  yards  and  two  feet,  or 
two  miles,  one  hundred  and  forty-six  yards,  and  two 
feet.  This  is  really  the  length  of  the  bridge  railway. 

The  last  stone  for  the  arches  of  the  tunnel  was 
placed  in  position  Thursday,  June  24, 1874.  During 
the  progress  of  the  work  two  serious  mishaps  to  the 
tunnel  delayed  operations  for  a  time.  In  1873  about 
two  hundred  feet  of  the  massive  stone  wall  of  the 
open  cut  was  overthrown  during  a  great  rain-storm  by 
the  tremendous  pressure  of  twenty-eight  feet  of  water 
collected  behind.  In  the  winter  of  1874  a  serious 
break  in  the  completed  tunnel  took  place  on  Wash- 
ington Avenue  above  Sixth  Street.  These  were  re- 
paired. In  the  first  case  the  wall  had  to  be  rebuilt, 
in  the  last  the  arch  was  taken  out,  the  wall  strength- 
ened, and  the  arch  replaced.  Notwithstanding  so  many 
men  were  employed,  and  there  was  so  large  an  amount 
of  work,  there  were  comparatively  few  fatal  casualties. 
The  railway  tracks  were  completed  through  the  tunnel 
in  July,  1874. 

On  the  20th  of  December,  1878,  the  bridge  was 
sold  under  foreclosure  of  mortgage,  at  the  east  front 
of  the  court-house,  a  little  after  twelve  o'clock.  The 
sale  was  in  virtue  of  a  decree  of  the  United  States 
Circuit  Court,  rendered  on  the  17th  of  October,  in 
the  suit  of  John  Pierpont  Morgan  and  Solon  Hum- 
phreys against  the  bridge  company  and  others.  Eze- 
kiel  W.  Woodward  was  the  commissioner  appointed 
to  make  the  sale,  and  the  property  to  be  sold  included 
the  bridge  proper,  its  approaches  in  St.  Louis  and 
East  St.  Louis,  and  all  its  appurtenances,  franchises, 
and  other  property.  The  terms  of  the  sale  were  fifty 
thousand  dollars  to  be  paid  in  bidding  off  the  prop- 
erty, and  the  balance  in  the  manner  described  in  the 
decree  of  the  court.  The  purchaser  was  also  to  pay 
in  cash,  on  the  confirmation  of  the  sale  by  the  court, 
the  costs  of  the  suit,  including  the  expenses  of  sale, 
commissions  to  the  trustees,  and  fees  to  the  solicitors 
and  counsel  as  determined  by  the  court,  and  in  addi- 
tion to  and  over  his  bid.  in  cash,  the  amount  of  the 
certificates  of  the  indebtedness  of  the  receivers  in  the 
suit  that  were  outstanding  and  amounting  to  three 
hundred  and  fifty  thousand  dollars,  more  or  less. 



Bidding  was  invited,  and  Charles  B.  Tracy  bid  two 
million  dollars.  There  the  matter  hung,  and  all  the 
eloquence  of  the  auctioneer  was  futile  to  procure  an- 
other bid.  When  it  became  quite  certain  that  no 
advance  would  be  made  on  Mr.  Tracy's  bid,  the  auc- 
tioneer, with  the  usual  warning  of  "  once,  twice,  three 
times,"  knocked  down  the  bridge  at  two  million  dollars. 
The  name  being  called  for,  Mr.  Tracy  announced  An- 
thony J.  Thomas,  of  New  York,  as  the  purchaser. 
On  inquiry  Mr.  Thomas  was  ascertained  to  be  a  mer- 
chant in  New  York,  who  had  bought  the  bridge  for 
the  first  mortgage  bondholders,  who  were  also  the 
principal,  if  not  the  sole,  holders  of  the  second  mort- 
gage bonds. 

E.  W.  Woodward  stated  subsequently  that  the 
bridge  had  failed  to  yield  enough  money  to  pay  the 
interest  on  its  indebtedness.  There  were  three  mort- 
gages. The  fourth  one  was  canceled  and  wiped  out 
of  existence.  The  suit  for  foreclosure  was  brought 
by  the  first  and  second  bondholders  jointly.  The 
bridge  company  organized  soon  after  the  sale  by  the 
election  of  J.  Pierpont  Morgan  and  Solon  Hum- 
phreys, of  New  York  ;  and  Gerard  B.  Allen,  Julius 
Walsh,  and  Kzekiel  W.  Woodward,  of  St.  Louis,  as 
directors.  The  new  company  thereupon  elected  the 
following  officers  :  Solon  Humphreys,  president ; 
Ezekiel  W.  Woodward,  vice-president  ;  Edward 
Walsh,  secretary ;  and  Anthony  J.  Thomas,  treas- 

On  the  1st  of  July,  1881,  the  bridge  was  leased  to 
the  Missouri  Pacific  and  Wabash,  St.  Louis  and  Pa- 
cific Eailway  companies  at  an  annual  rental  equaling 
interest  on  bonds,  semi-annual  dividends  on  first  pre- 
ferred stock  at  the  rate  of  five  per  cent,  per  annum 
for  three  years  to  and  ending  in  July,  1885,  and  there- 
after at  the  rate  of  six  per  cent.  ;  and  semi-annual 
dividends  of  three  per  cent,  on  second  preferred 
stock,  the  first  payment  to  be  made  July  1,  1884. 
Dividends  payable  in  gold  free  of  all  charges.  The 
companies  further  agreed  to  pay  all  taxes,  assess- 
ments, and  other  charges ;  to  pay  two  thousand  five 
hundred  dollars  a  year  for  maintaining  organization, 
and  to  provide  and  maintain  offices  for  the  company 
in  St.  Louis  and  New  York.  In  addition  it  is  pro- 
vided that  the  bonds  of  the  company  as  they  mature 
shall  be  paid  by  the  lessee  companies.  The  funded 
debt  consists  of  $5,000,000  seven  per  cent,  gold 
bonds,  dated  April  1,  1879,  due  1928;  interest  pay- 
able April  and  October  ;  first  preferred  stock  $2,490,- 
000 ;  second  preferred  stock  $3,000,000 ;  common 
stock  $2,500,000.  The  directors  of  the  St.  Louis 
Bridge  Company  in  1882  were  Solon  Humphreys, 
J.  Pierpont  Morgan,  New  York ;  E.  W.  Woodward, 

Gerard  B.  Allen,  Edward  Walsh,  Jr.,  St.  Louis,  Mo. ; 
President,  Julius  S.  Walsh,  St.  Louis. 

One  of  the  most  active  and  energetic  promoters  of 
the  great  bridge  enterprise  was  John  R.  Lionberger, 
who  was  a  director  of  the  company  from  its  incipiency, 
1  and  a  member  of  the  executive  and  construction  com- 
I  mittee.     Mr.  Lionberger  was  a  stanch,  unwavering 
supporter  of  the  project  through  its  darkest  hours, 
and   contributed  his   share  and  something  more  to- 
wards providing  means  to  resume  work  on  the  bridge 
and  push  its  construction  to  completion. 

John  Robert  Lionberger  was  born  in  Virginia, 
Aug.  22,  1829.  As  the  name  indicates,  his  father 
was  of  German,  his  mother  of  English-Scotch  descent^ 
— a  mixture  of  blood  calculated  to  produce  an  enter- 
prising and  aggressive  race.  His  father  was  engaged 
in  mercantile  business  in  Virginia,  which  he  resumed 
upon  the  removal  of  the  family,  in  1837,  to  Boonville, 
Cooper  Co.,  Md. 

Up  to  the  age  of  sixteen  young  Lionberger  attended 
the  Rioted  Kemper's  Academy  in  Boonville,  and  sub- 
sequently entered  the  University  of  the  State  of  Mis- 
souri at  Columbia,  and  took  a  classical  course.  Al- 
though thus  equipped  with  an  education  which  fitted 
him  for  a  professional  career,  his  tastes  led  him  to 
engage  in  mercantile  pursuits,  and  he  spent  some 
years  thus  occupied  at  Boonville.  The  small  and 
quiet  town,  however,  offered  at  best  only  a  limited 
prospect  to  a  young  man  of  energy  and  enterprise, 
and  in  1855  he  removed  to  St.  Louis,  and  established 
the  wholesale  boot-  and  shoe-house  of  Lionberger  '& 
!  Shields,  on  Main  Street.  This  partnership  lasted 
some  two  years,  when  Mr.  Lionberger  purchased  Mr. 
Shields'  interest,  and  for  some  time  managed  the 
business  as  sole  proprietor  under  his  own  name. 
Subsequently  junior  partners  were  admitted,  and  the 
firm  became  known  as  J.  R.  Lionberger  &  Co.,  under 
which  title  it  flourished  until  1867,  when  he  retired, 
leaving  to  his  associates  a  well-established  and  pros- 
perous trade,  and  having  made  for  himself  a  fortune 
and  reputation  for  rectitude  and  business  sagacity 
second  to  none  of  the  merchants  of  that  period. 

But  in  retiring  from  trade  he  did  not  retire  from 
business.  On  the  contrary,  he  immediately  entered 
upon  a  field  of  much  greater  activity,  and  thenceforth 
his  energies  were  exerted  in  connection  with  many 
enterprises  of  great  public  importance,  and  promising 
much  to  the  city  of  his  adoption.  All  the  great  pro- 
jects of  the  past  twenty-five  years  have  had  his  earnest 
and  energetic  support.  He  has  been  foremost  in  devel- 
oping the  transportation  system  of  St.  Louis,  and  was 
specially  prominent  in  the  affairs  of  the  North  Mis- 
souri Railroad.  When  the  fortunes  of  that  road  were 




at  a  low  ebb,  the  company  with  which  he  was  identi- 
fied took  the  road  and  completed  it  to  Kansas  City 
and  the  Iowa  State  line.  As  has  been  seen,  he  was 
very  active  and  efficient  in  promoting  the  construction 
of  the  bridge  across  the  Mississippi.  He  was  also  a 
director  of  the  Chamber  of  Commerce  Association, 
and  a  member  of  the  building  committee  which  su- 
pervised the  erection  of  the  Merchants'  Exchange, 
perhaps  the  most  stately  and  ornamental  structure  of 
which  the  city  can  boast.  He  is  a  member  of  the  Board 
of  Trade,  and  has  served  it  in  many  honorable  and  use- 
ful capacities  ;  was  a  delegate  to  the  Boston  Convention 
of  the  National  Board,  and  was  also  its  representative 
in  the  New  Orleans  Convention,  where  his  fellow- 
delegates  showed  their  estimation  of  his  character  as 
a  representative  business  man  of  St.  Louis  by  electing 
him  their  chairman.  It  may  therefore  be  said  with- 
out exaggeration  that  in  all  matters  relating  to  the 
public  welfare,  and  in  all  enterprises  undertaken  for 
the  benefit  of  the  city,  Mr.  Lionberger  has  manifested 
the  keenest  interest,  and  has  contributed  generously 
of  his  own  means  towards  any  object  that  seemed 
likely  to  build  up  St.  Louis. 

One  of  the  later  enterprises  which  he  has  assisted, 
and  one  of  the  most  important,  is  the  Union  Depot 
and  Shipping  Company,  which  in  1881  erected  a  ware- 
house with  an  elevator  five  hundred  by  seventy  feet, 
and  four  stories  high,  with  an  elevator  capacity  of 
seven  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  bushels  of  grain. 
Other  corporations  with  which  Mr.  Lionberger  has 
been  connected  have  done  much  to  improve  the  city 
in  the  erection  of  tasteful  and  ornamental  buildings. 
When  the  street  railway  system  was  introduced, 
Mr.  Lionberger  at  once  appreciated  its  importance  as 
an  agency  in  developing  the  city,  and  promptly  gave 
it  his  attention  and  support.  He  is  a  large  owner  of 
street  railway  stock,  and  his  efforts  have  always  been 
directed  towards  the  management  of  the  street  car 
companies  with  reference  to  the  convenience  of  the 

Mr.  Lionberger  was  one  of  the  organizers  of  the 
Safe  Deposit  Company,  one  of  the  most  substantial 
corporations  of  its  kind  in  the  country,  and  has  been 
its  president  for  several  years.  He  was  also  one  of 
the  organizers  of  the  old  Southern  Bank  in  1857, 
served  actively  as  a  director,  and  was  for  many  years 
its  vice-president.  When  in  1864  it  organized  under 
the  National  banking  law  and  became  the  Third 
National  Bank,  Mr.  Lionberger  retained  his  interest 
in  the  corporation,  and  in  18G7  was  elected  president, 
a  position  which  he  held  until  1876,  when  he  re- 
signed and  made  a  long  European  journey.  On  his 
return  from  abroad  he  was  elected  vice-president,  in 

which  position  his  judgment  and  foresight  have  con- 
tributed largely  towards  making  the  bank  one  of  the 
strongest  and  most  highly  respected  financial  insti- 
tutions in  the  Mississippi  valley.  In  December, 
1882,  after  twenty-five  years  of  continuous  service  in 
different  capacities,  he  resigned  the  vice-presidency 
and  directorship  in  this  institution. 

In  1852,  Mr.  Lionberger  married  Miss  Margaret 
M.  Clarkson,  of  Columbia,  Mo.,  a  lady  of  engaging 
and  estimable  qualities,  and  their  union  has  yielded 
four  children. 

The  many  public  positions  which  Mr.  Lionberger 
has  held  have  exposed  him  to  the  severest  scrutiny 
of  the  community,  which  has  only  served  to  demon- 
strate his  sterling  integrity,  and  to  set  forth  conspicu- 
ously his  pure  and  unblemished  character.  As  a 
public-spirited  man,  he  occupies  a  prominent  place 
among  the  citizens  of  St.  Louis,  while  in  private  life 
he  is  esteemed  for  his  engaging  qualities  of  head  and 
heart.  His  work  is  not  yet  finished,  and  if  the  past 
is  any  augury  of  the  future,  it  may  be  assumed  that 
he  will  for  many  years  to  come  be  heard  of  in  con- 
nection with  schemes  to  advance  the  public  good  and 
further  still  more  the  "  manifest  destiny"  of  St.  Louis. 



AFTER  the  bark  canoe,  in  the  progress  of  naviga- 
tion on  the  Mississippi,  came  the  Mackinaw  boat,  car- 
rying from  fifteen  hundredweight  to  three  tons,  and 
then  the  keel-boat,  or  barge,  capable  of  carrying  from 
thirty  to  forty  tons.  The  first  appearance  of  the  keel- 
boat  on  the  Mississippi  above  the  mouth  of  the  Ohio 
of  which  there  is  any  account  was  in  1751,  when  a 
fleet  of  boats,  commanded  by  Bossu,  a  captain  of  French 
marines,  ascended  as  far  as  Fort  Chartres.  This  en- 
terprise, also,  was  the  first  to  ascertain  by  actual  ex- 
perience the  perils  of  navigating  the  Mississippi.  One 
of  the  boats,  the  "  Saint  Louis,"  struck  a  sand-bar 
above  the  mouth  of  the  Ohio,  and  was  unladen  and 
detained  two  days.  Three  days  later,  says  the  traveler, 
"  my  boat  ran  against  a  tree,  of  which  the  Mississippi 
is  full ;  .  .  .  the  shock  burst  the  boat,  and  such  a 
quantity  of  water  got  in  that  it  sunk  in  less  than  an 
hour." *  This  was  probably  the  first  commercial  boat 
"  snagged"  on  the  Mississippi.  From  three  to  four 
months  were  required  to  make  a  voyage  from  New 

1  Bossu,  vol.  i.  p.  114. 



Orleans  to  the  settlement  in  the  vicinity  of  St.  Louis. 
For  years  afterwards,  and  until  the  era  of  steam  navi- 
gation, a  journey  on  the  river  was  a  matter  of  no  small 
moment,  serious  consideration,  and  prudent  domestic 
and  personal  preparation.  It  had  to  be  made  on  craft 
of  a  peculiarly  constructed  and  constricted  form,  having 
but  limited  living  arrangements,  and  of  slow,  uncertain 
progress,  where,  besides  being  deprived  of  the  usual 
comforts  of  even  an  ordinarily-supplied  home,  the  trav- 
eler was  thrown  into  immediate  association  with  a  wild, 
reckless,  rollicking  set  of  voyageurs,  whose  manual 
labors  alone  aided  or  urged  the  craft,  either  with  or 
against  wind  and  current,  by  the  use  of  oars,  poles,  i 
and  other  contrivances.  The  shippers  on  these  boats, 
after  forwarding  their  goods  and  products  thereon,  were 
satisfied  to  have  returns  therefrom  in  five  or  six  months 
after  the  shipment,  and  not  very  much  surprised  or 
disappointed  when  they  heard  that  boat  and  cargo  were 
resting  quietly  on  the  bottom  of  the  river,  near  the 
foot  of  some  snag,  or  upset  in  a  storm,  or  reposing 
high  and  dry  on  a  sand-bar,  where  they  must  remain 
till  the  next  high  water  floated  them  off.  True,  such 
disasters  and  delays  were  not  always  attendant  upon 
this  mode  of  navigation, — if  they  had  been,  the  whole 
system  would  have  fallen  into  disuse  very  soon  and 
altogether, — but  they  were  of  frequent  occurrence,  and 
were  viewed  as  being,  more  or  less,  a  natural  result  of 
the  primitive  powers  and  material  they  were  compelled 
to  bring  into  service. 

Flat-boats  (of  about  the  same  model  we  have  now) 
and  barges  were  the  kind  of  craft  mostly  in  use  on  the 
Ohio  and  Mississippi  and  their  navigable  tributaries 
at  the  beginning  of  the  immigration  and  settlements 
along  those  rivers,  in  the  early  part  of  this  century, 
and  for  several  of  the  closing  decades  of  the  previous 
century,  the  former  for  transporting  their  few  market- 
able products,  and  for  the  conveyance  of  families  and 
stock  to  new  settlements  that  could  be  reached,  or 
mainly  so,  by  water.  As  the  country  became  more 
populous  and  developed,  the  interchange  of  products 
and  manufactures  became  a  desirable  necessity,  espec- 
ially along  and  with  the  southern  coasts  and  towns. 
For  this  purpose  barges  were  introduced  and  made 
common  carriers,  up  and  down,  and  from  point  to 
point.  Like  flat-boats,  they  were  broad  and  square  at 
the  ends,  but  were  raked  fore  and  aft,  and  instead  of 
being  entirely  covered  in,  not  more  than  half  their 
hull  was  decked  over,  and  on  the  part  thus  decked  a 
cabin  was  placed  for  the  use  of  the  crew  and  such 
few  passengers  as  might  venture  with  them.  The  re- 
mainder was  left  open,  or  only  oar-decked,  where  was 
stored  the  cargo,  which  was  covered  with  some  suita- 
ble material  to  protect  it  from  the  weather.  The 

space  under  the  cabin  was  devoted  to  stowage  also. 
Being  designed  for  continued  and  active  service, 
they  were  stronger,  better  built,  and  more  properly 
fitted  out  for  navigation  than  flat-boats,  and  instead  of 
being  sold  at  the  end  of  the  trip  for  whatever  they 
would  bring,  or  otherwise  disposed  of  (as  the  flat- 
boat  was),  were  brought  back  to  their  home-ports  by 
the  crew,  against  winds  and  current,  by  a  constant 
and  arduous  heaving  on  oars,  poles,  and  cordelles,  with 
an  occasional  use  of  the  sail  when  the  breeze  was 
sufficiently  strong  and  favorable.  Many  of  these  crafts 
were  owned  and  run  by  individuals  who  made  barge- 
ing  their  avocation,  and  in  person  commanded  and 
controlled  their  operations,  but  established  lines  of 
barges  (not  regular)  owned  by  companies  or  firms 
were  not  uncommon  from  the  principal  towns  of  the 
upper  rivers  to  New  Orleans,  the  boats  of  which 
were  placed  in  charge  of  competent  men  experienced 
in  river  navigation,  who  acted  as  patroon  (captain) 
and  pilot,  aided  by  a  crew  of  their  own  selection. 
These  boats  carried  from  one  hundred  to  two  hundred 
tons,  and  some  as  much  as  four  hundred,  but  not 
many,  the  latter  being  too  unwieldy  and  unmanage- 
able, and  difficult  to  land  except  in  high  water.  The 
trip  down,  say  from  Cincinnati  or  St.  Louis  to  New 
Orleans,  was  made  in  about  five  weeks,  unless  they 
were  favored  with  bright  nights,  when  it  would  be  made 
more  quickly.  The  return  occupied  eighty  or  ninety 
days,  and  frequently  much  longer.  The  crew  was 
eight  to  fifteen  men  on  the  downward  and  twenty  to 
thirty-six  on  the  upward  trip.  Fast  time  was  fre- 
quently attempted,  and  often  successfully  performed 
according  to  the  prevailing  ideas.  A  quick  trip  was 
made  in  February,  1811,  by  the  keel-boat  "Susan 
Amelia,"  which  descended  from  the  Falls  of  the  Ohio 
to  Natchez  in  fourteen  days  and  five  hours.  This 
trip  was  a  famous  one  in  its  day,  and  the  boat's  time 
from  and  to  different  points  was  made  the  standard  of 
swiftness  for  many  years,  as  was  that  of  the  steamer 
"  J.  M.  White"  in  a  later  day.  But  it  was  deemed 
a  very  risky  and  imprudent  exhibition  by  the  cautious 
men  of  the  time.  An  old  river  chronicler  in  speak- 
ing of  it  said,  "  Nothing  ought  to  induce  such  run- 
ning but  a  case  of  life  and  death." 

"  Before  the  panting  of  the  steam-engine  was  heard 
on  these  (Western)  waters,"  says  Lloyd's  Steamboat 
Directory,  "  the  only  river  contrivance  for  conveyance 
of  freight  and  passengers  was  a  species  of  boat  called 
a  barge,  or  largee,  according  to  French  nomenclature. 
The  length  of  this  boat  was  from  seventy-five  to  one 
hundred  feet;  breadth  of  beam  from  fifteen  to  twenty 
feet ;  capacity  from  sixty  to  one  hundred  tons.  The 
receptacle  for  the  freight  was  a  large  covered  coffer, 



called  the  cargo-box,  which  occupied  a  considerable 
portion  of  the  hulk.  Near  the  stern  was  an  apology 
for  a  cabin,  a  straitened  apartment  six  or  eight  feet  in 
length,  in  which  the  aristocracy  of  the  boat,  viz.,  the 
captain  and  patroon,  or  steersman,  were  generally 
quartered  at  night.  The  roof  of  the  '  cabin'  was 
slightly  elevated  above  the  level  of  the  deck,  and  on 
this  eminence  the  helmsman  was  stationed  to  direct  the 
movements  of  the  boat.  The  barge  was  commonly 
provided  with  two  masts,  though  some  carried  but  one. 
The  chief  reliance  of  the  boatmen  was  on  a  square 
sail  forward,  which  when  the  wind  was  in  the  right 
direction  accelerated  the  progressive  motion  of  the 
boat  and  relieved  the  hands,  who  at  other  times  were 
obliged  to  propel  the  barge  by  such  laborious  methods 
as  rowing,  warping,  and  the  cordelle." 

Keel-boating  proper  was  an  institution  of  a  later 
day.  The  keeled  craft  were  not  in  general  use  on  the 
rivers  until  1808-9,  though  all  the  early  river  navi- 
gation is  now  referred  to  under  the  generic  term  of 
keel-boating.  Naturally  the  bargemen  became  the 
keel-boatmen ;  the  commercial  interests,  designs,  and 
working  of  the  two  modes  were,  in  fact,  about  the 
same,  and,  for  all  the  purposes  of  the  present  sketch, 
essentially  alike.  But  keel-boats  were  much  of  an 
advance  over  barges  in  celerity  and  diminution  of  time 
and  labor.  They  were  longer  and  narrower,  had  a  keel- 
shaped,  instead  of  a  broad  flat  bottom,  carried  as  much 
freight  on  a  less  amount  of  current  expenses,  furnished 
less  resisting  surface,  and  therefore  were  more  easily 
handled  in  cross  currents,  bends,  and  other  places  re- 
quiring speedy  movement,  made  quicker  trips,  and 
for  several  other  good  reasons  became  in  a  short  time 
after  their  introduction  the  universal  freight-carriers, 
holding  their  position  as  such  for  nearly  twenty 
years,  or  until  the  running  of  steam-craft  came  with 
a  sufficient  frequency  and  tonnage  to  supply  the  de- 
mands of  commerce,  when  of  course  they  were  aban- 
doned for  the  superior  advantages  offered  by  steam- 
boats. They  were  also  generally  quite  artistically 
built,  presenting  a  neat  appearance  on  the  water,  in 
many  respects  resembling  the  canal-boats  of  this  day. 
As  a  rule,  however,  the  river-craft  was  unshapely  and 
cumbrous.  The  lines  of  least  resistance  were  not 
then  understood,  and  different  kinds  of  boats  were 
used  according  to  the  needs  of  the  locality  and  the 
nature  of  the  freight,  including  canoes,  pirogues, 
barges,  keel-  and  flat-boats.  "  The  Indian  birch  canoe 
was  ordinarily  thirty  feet  long,  four  feet  wide  in  the 
broadest  part,  two  and  a  half  feet  deep  in  the  centre, 
and  two  feet  deep  at  each  end.  The  pirogue  was 
larger  than  the  canoe,  but  smaller  than  the  other 
other  boats.  The  barge  was  wider,  but  not  so  long 

as  the  keel-boats,  and  was  chiefly  used  between  St. 
Louis  and  New  Orleans.  The  barges  sometimes  had 
a  capacity  of  forty  tons.  The  boats  designed  for  the 
Indian  trade  were  of  peculiar  construction,  from 
forty  to  sixty  feet  in  length,  with  low  sides  and  a 
bottom  almost  flat.  Their  narrowness  and  light 
draught  fitted  them  for  swift  or  shallow  water.  In 
ascending  the  river,  the  boatmen,  in  order  to  prevent 
a  useless  expenditure  of  strength,  avoided  the  rapid 
current  of  the  channel  of  the  river  and  sought  the 
slower  water  near  the  shore ;  and  in  order  that  they 
might  approach  close  to  the  bank,  the  boats  were 
constructed  with  a  flat  bottom  and  provided  with 
short  oars.  The  low  side  of  the  boat,  by  bringing 
the  oarlock  nearer  to  the  water,  lessened  the  resist- 
ance, and  consequently  lightened  the  labors  of  the 
rowers.  The  capacity  of  these  boats  varied  from  fif- 
teen thousand  to  twenty-five  thousand  pounds,  and  the 
size  of  the  crew  was  determined  by  the  allowance  of 
one  boatman  for  every  three  thousand  pounds  of 
freight.  The  oarsmen  were  generally  Creoles  and 
French  mulattoes. 

"  The  crookedness  of  the  Mississippi  between  St. 
Louis  and  New  Orleans  necessitated  long  detours. 
In  one  place  a  circuit  of  fifty-four  miles  represented 
an  actual  gain  of  only  five  miles  ;  at  another  point  the 
neck  of  a  bend  thirty  miles  long  was  but  a  mile 
and  a  half  across.  In  ascending  these  bends  the  boats 
always  avoided  the  concave  side  of  the  stream,  for  the 
double  purpose  of  escaping  the  force  of  the  current 
and  the  peril  of  caving  banks.  Large  masses  of  earth 
undermined  by  the  action  of  the  water  sometimes  fell 
suddenly  into  the  river,  and  a  boat  overtaken  by  such 
an  accident  was  in  imminent  danger  of  submersion. 
In  order  to  shun  this  risk,  as  well  as  to  avoid  the  main 
current  of  the  stream,  the  boats  kept  close  to  the  con- 
vex bank  of  the  bends.  The  extreme  crookedness  of 
the  river  necessitated  frequent  crossings,  and  it  has 
been  stated  that  the  number  of  times  a  boat  was  com- 
pelled to  cross  the  Mississippi  in  the  ascent  from  New 
Orleans  to  St.  Louis  was  three  hundred  and  ninety. 
These  crossings,  and  the  distance  that  a  heavily 
freighted  boat  would  be  borne  down  stream  in  going 
from  one  side  to  the  other,  added  nearly  five  hundred 
miles  to  the  length  of  the  voyage.  In  descending  the 
river  the  boatmen  reversed  their  course  of  action,  and 
followed  the  concave  side  of  the  bends  in  order  to 
avail  themselves  of  the  effective  aid  of  the  current. 
In  violent  storms  or  high  winds,  when  it  was  not  safe 
to  move,  the  boats  were  fastened  to  trees  on  the  oppo- 
site bank. 

"  A  voyage  from  St.  Louis  to  New  Orleans  and  re- 
turn occupied  from  four  to  six  months  ;  consequently 



only  two  round  trips  could  be  made  in  a  year.  Even 
with  the  assistance  of  sails,  a  row-boat  could  not  make 
the  ascent  in  less  than  seventy  or  eighty  days.  A 
keel-boat  could  be  brought  by  cordelle  from  Louisville 
to  St.  Louis  in  twenty-five  days."1  In  addition  to 
the  use  of  sails  and  oars,  "  warping,"  "  cordelling," 
and  "  poling"  were  employed  as  means  of  propulsion. 
"  In  '  warping'  a  long  rope  was  fastened  to  some  im- 
movable object  on  the  bank,  and  then  the  crew,  stand- 
ing in  the  bow  and  pulling  hand  over  hand,  drew  the 
boat  forward ;  the  hands  of  the  crew  serving  the  pur- 
poses of  a  capstan.  The  progress  was  slow  but  steady. 
In  '  cordelling'  the  crew  walked  along  the  bank  and 
drew  the  boat  after  them  by  means  of  a  rope.  It  was, 
in  fact,  identical  with  canal-boat  navigation,  except 
that  the  motive-power  was  men  instead  of  mules  or 
horses.  '  Poling'  consisted  in  pushing  the  boat  up 
stream  by  the  aid  of  long  poles.  The  men  succes- 
sively took  their  places  at  the  bow,  and  firmly  resting 
their  poles  on  the  bed  of  the  river,  walked  towards 
the  stern  pushing  the  boat  forward.  Whenever  a  man 
reached  the  stern,  he  pulled  up  his  pole  and  ran  rap-  ; 
idly  back  to  resume  his  place  in  the  line.  Hence  the 
spaces  on  each  side  of  the  boat  where  this  con- 
stant circuit  was  going  on  were  called  the  '  running 
boards.' " 2 

The  boatmen  were  a  class  by  themselves,  a  hardy,  | 
adventurous,  muscular  set  of  men,  inured  to  constant 
peril  and  privation,  and  accustomed  to  severe  and  un- 
remitting toil.  For  weeks,  and  even  months  at  a 
time,  they  saw  no  faces  but  those  of  their  companions 
among  the  crew  or  in  some  passing  craft,  and  their 
days  from  dawn  until  dark  were  spent  in  constant 
work  at  the  oars  or  poles,  or  tugging  at  the  rope  either 
in  the  boat  or  on  the  shore,  as  they  were  employed 
either  in  warping  or  cordelling.  At  night,  after 
"  tying  up,"  their  time  was  generally  spent  in  gaming, 
carousing,  story-telling,  etc.,  the  amusements  of  the 
evening  being  varied  not  infrequently  with  a  fisticuff 

The  labor  involved  in  their  occupation  was  of  the 
severest  character,  and  the  constant  and  arduous  ex- 
ercise produced  in  most  of  them  an  extraordinary 
physical  development.  So  intense  was  the  exertion 
usually  required  to  propel  and  guide  the  boat  that  a 
rest  was  necessary  every  hour,  and  from  fourteen  to 
twenty  miles  a  day  was  all  the  progress  that  could  be 
made  against  the  stream.  The  sense  of  physical 
power  which  naturally  accompanied  the  steady  exer-  j 
cise  of  the  muscles  inspired  the  average  boatman  not 
merely  with  insensibility  to  danger,  but  a  bellicoseness 

«f  disposition  which  seems  to  have  been  characteris- 
tic of  his  class.  The  champion  pugilist  of  a  boat 
was  entitled  to  wear  a  red  feather  in  his  cap,  and  this 
badge  of  pre-eminence  was  universally  regarded  as  a 
challenge  to  all  rivals.3 

In  summer  the  boatmen  were  usually  stripped  to 
the  waist,  and  their  bodies,  exposed  to  the  sun,  were 
tanned  to  the  swarthy  hues  of  the  Indian ;  in  winter 
they  were  clothed  in  buckskin  breeches  and  blankets, 
(capots),  a  grotesque  combination  of  French  and  In- 
dian styles  which  gave  their  attire  a  wild  and  peculiar 
aspect.  Their  food  was  of  the  simplest  character. 
"  After  a  hard  day's  toil,"  says  Monette,4  "  at  night 
they  took  their  '  fillee'  or  ration  of  whiskey,  swallowed 
their  homely  supper  of  meat  half  burned  and  bread 
half  baked,  and  retiring  to  sleep  they  stretched  them- 
selves upon  the  deck  without  covering,  under  the  open 
canopy  of  heaven,  or  probably  enveloped  in  a  blanket, 
until  the  steersman's  horn  called  them  to  their  morn- 
ing '  fillee'  and  their  toil. 

"  Hard  and  fatiguing  was  the  life  of  a  boatman, 
yet  it  was  rare  that  any  of  them  ever  changed  his 
vocation.  There  was  a  charm  in  the  excesses,  in  the 
frolics,  and  in  the  fightings  which  they  anticipated 
at  the  end  of  the  voyage  which  cheered  them  on.  Of 
weariness  none  would  complain,  but  rising  from  his 
bed  at  the  first  dawn  of  day,  and  reanimated  by  his 
morning  draught,  he  was  prepared  to  hear  and  obey 
the  wonted  order,  'Stand  to  your  poles  and  set  off!" 
The  boatmen  were  masters  of  the  winding  horn  and  the 
fiddle,  and  as  the  boat  moved  off  from  her  moorings, 
some,  to  cheer  their  labors  or  to  '  scare  off  the  devil 
and  secure  good  luck,'  would  wind  the  animating  blast 
of  the  horn,  which,  mingling  with  the  sweet  music  of 
the  fiddle  and  reverberating  along  the  sounding  shores, 
greeted  the  solitary  dwellers  on  the  banks  with  news 
from  New  Orleans." 

Levity  and  volatility  were  conspicuous  traits  of 
the  boatman's  character,  and  while  he  was  willing  to 
perform  excessive  and  long-continued  labor,  he  would 
render  such  service  only  to  a  "  patroon"  whom  he 
respected.  In  fine,  the  average  keel-boatman  was 
cool,  reckless,  courageous  to  the  verge  of  rashness, 

1  Professor  S.  Waterhouse. 

2  Ibid. 

1  "  Their  athletic  labors  gave  strength  incredible  to  their 
muscles,  which  they  were  vain  to  exhibit,  and  fist-fighting  was 
their  pastime.  He  who  could  boast  that  he  had  never  been 
whipped  was  bound  to  fight  whoever  disputed  his  manhood. 
Keel-boatmen  and  bargemen  looked  upon  flat-boatmen  as  their 
natural  enemies,  and  a  meeting  was  th«*  prelude  to  a  '  battle- 
royal.'  They  were  great  sticklers  for  '  fair  play,'  and  whoso- 
ever was  worsted  in  battle  must  bide  the  issue  without  assist- 
ance."— Monette's  History  of  the  Valley  of  the  Mississippi, 
p.  20. 

4  Ibid.,  pp.  19  and  20. 



and  pugnacious,  but,  notwithstanding  certain  grave 
shortcomings,  an  unmitigated  hater  of  all  the  darker 
shades  of  sin  and  wrong-doing,  such  as  stealing,  rob- 
bing, and  murdering  for  plunder,  crimes  that  in  his 
day  were  frequently  and  boldly  perpetrated  along  the 
sparsely-settled  banks  and  at  lonely  islands  of  the 
Ohio  and  Mississippi  Rivers. 

"  The  departure  of  a  boat  was  an  important  inci- 
dent in  the  uneventful  village  life  of  St.  Louis.  On 
such  occasions  it  was  customary  for  their  friends  to 
assemble  on  the  banks  to  bid  adieu  to  the  voyageurs. 
Sometimes  half  the  population  of  the  village  was 
present  to  tender  their  wishes  for  a  prosperous  trip. 

"  For  years  it  was  believed  that  no  keel-boat,  could 
ascend  the  Missouri.  The  rapidity  of  the  current 
was  supposed  to  be  an  insuperable  obstacle  to  naviga- 
tion by  such  craft.  The  doubt  was  settled  by  the 
enterprise  of  George  Sarpy,  who  sent  a  keel-boat 
under  Capt.  Labrosse  to  try  the  difficult  experi- 
ment of  ascending  the  Missouri.  The  success  of  the 
undertaking  marked  a  signal  advance  in  Western 
navigation,  and  supplied  the  merchants  of  St.  Louis 
with  new  facilities  for  the  transportation  of  their 
goods,"  1  while  it  also  greatly  extended  the  operations 
of  the  boatmen  and  increased  their  numbers. 

Of  the  keel-boatmen,  when  classed  by  nativity,  the 
Kentuckians  bore  the  most  unenviable  reputation,  on 
account  of  the  fact  that  they  were  generally  charac- 
terized by  excessive  recklessness  and  bellicoseness, 
and  we  are  told  so  gloomy  was  the  reputation  of  the 
Kentuckians  that  travelers  were  liable  at  every  place 
(except  the  miserable  wayside  taverns)  to  have  the 
door  shut  in  their  face  on  applying  for  refreshments 
or  a  night's  lodgings.  Nor  would  any  plea  or  cir- 
cumstance alter  the  decided  refusal  of  the  master  or 
mistress,  unless  it  might  be  the  uncommonly  genteel 
appearance  and  the  equipage  of  the  traveler. 

For  a  similar  reason,  possibly,  badly-built  boats, 
with  poor  or  injured  plank  in  their  bottoms,  which 
had  been  sold  to  unsuspecting  or  inexperienced  per- 
sons, were  known  as  "  Kentucky  boats/' 

"  In  1807,"  says  a  writer  on  "  Early  Navigators" 
in  a  St.  Louis  newspaper,  "  a  Mr.  Winchester's  boat 
struck  a  rock  in  the  Ohio,  below  Pittsburgh  a  short 
distance,  and  one  of  her  bottom  planks  being  badly 
stove  in,  she  sunk  immediately,  having  on  board  a 
valuable  cargo  of  dry-goods.  The  proprietor,  not 
being  with  the  boat  at  the  time,  conceived,  when 
informed  of  the  disaster,  that  it  had  been  caused  by 
carelessness  of  the  person  to  whom  he  had  intrusted 
the  boat  and  cargo,  and  brought  suit  against  him  for 

1  Professor  Waterhouse. 

damages;  and  indeed  it  was  somewhat  evident,  from 
all  that  could  be  ascertained,  that  the  patroon  had  no 
business  in  the  neighborhood  of  the  rock,  and  could 
and  should  have  avoided  it.  The  defendant's  position 
was  rather  gloomy,  but  his  resources  proved  equal  to 
the  emergency.  The  suit  was  before  (Dr.)  Justice 
Richardson,  of  Pittsburgh,  who  himself  had  had  some 
sad  experiences  with  Kentucky  boats.  The  defendant 
knowing  or  being  informed  of  this,  hired  two  men, 
went  down  to  the  wreck,  and  with  some  difficulty 
procured  several  pieces  of  the  plank  that  had  given 
way.  On  the  day  of  trial,  after  the  plaintiff  had,  as 
every  one  present  thought,  fully  established  his  charges 
and  demands,  the  justice  asked  the  defendant  if  he  had 
any  rebutting  evidence  to  offer.  '  Yes,  your  Honor,'  he 
replied,  '  I  have ;'  and  reaching  down  under  his  seat, 
he  drew  out  the  pieces  of  plank  aforementioned  and 
said,  '  I  have  no  evidence  to  offer,  your  Honor,  ex- 
cept these  pieces,  which  I  can  prove  to  your  Honor 
are  part  of  the  same  plank,  the  breaking  of  which 
caused  the  boat  to  sink,  which,  I  say,  would  not  have 
occurred  if  the  plank  had  been  reasonably  sound. 
Look  at  them  !  Your  Honor  will  see  that  it  was  my 
misfortune  to  have  been  placed  in  charge  of  one  of 
these  d — d  Kentucky  boats.'  Without  in  any  way 
noticing  the  blasphemous  expression,  the  justice  ex- 
amined the  pieces,  which  proved  to  be  thoroughly 
rotten  and  defective,  unfit  to  be  put  anywhere,  much 
less  in  the  bottom  of  a  boat.  After  hearing  from  the 
defendant's  helpers  that  these  pieces  were  taken  from 
the  boat  in  question,  at  the  identical  place  where  she 
had  broken,  the  court  delivered  its  mind  as  follows : 
'  This  court  had  the  misfortune  once  to  place  a  valu- 
able cargo  on  a  Kentucky  boat,  not  knowing  it  to  be 
such,  which  sunk  and  went  down  in  seventeen  feet  of 
water,  this  court  verily  believed,  by  coming  in  contact 
with  the  head  of  a  yellow-bellied  catfish,  there  being 
no  snag,  rock,  or  other  obstruction  near  her  at  the 
time ;  and  this  court,  being  satisfied  of  the  premises 
in  this  cause,  doth  order  that  the  same  be  dismissed 
at  plaintiff's  costs,  to  have  included  therein  the  ex- 
penses of  the  defendant  in  going  to  and  returning 
from  the  wreck,  for  the  purpose  of  obtaining  such 
damnable  and  irrefutable  evidence  as  this  bottom 
plank  has  furnished.'  And  the  bottom  plank  was 
deemed  proof  so  conclusive,  and  the  prejudice  against 
Kentucky  boats  in  the  public  mind  was  so  extended 
and  settled,  that  it  was  thought  inadvisable  to  urge 
the  suit  any  further." 

Besides  the  ordinary  dangers  of  the  treacherous  cur- 
rents, "  cave-ins,"  shoals  and  snags  of  the  Mississippi, 
and  occasional  assaults  from  prowling  savages,  the 
early  boatmen  were  often  called  upon  to  face  the  more 



serious  peril  of  an  attack  by  river  pirates.  "  Many  a 
boatload  of  costly  merchandise  intended  for  the  ware- 
houses of  St.  Louis  never  reached  its  destination.  The 
misdeeds  of  the  robbers  were  not  always  limited  to  the 
seizure  of  goods.  The  proof  of  rapine  was  often  ex- 
tinguished by  the  murder  of  the  witnesses.  The  caves 
of  the  pirates  were  rich  with  the  spoils  of  a  plundered 
commerce,  and  the  depredations  became  more  frequent 
in  proportion  to  the  impunity  with  which  they  were 
committed.  At  last  the  interruption  of  trade  became 
so  grave  and  the  danger  to  life  so  imminent  that  the 
Governor-General  of  Louisiana  was  constrained  to  take 
more  effective  steps  for  the  suppression  of  the  bandits. 
An  official  order  excluding  single  boats  from  the  Mis- 
sissippi granted  the  privilege  of  navigation  only  to 
flotillas  that  were  strong  enough  to  repel  their  assail- 
ants. The  plan  succeeded  and  the  pirates  were  ulti- 
mately driven  from  their  haunts.  The  arrival  at  St. 
Louis  in  1788  of  the  flotilla  of  ten  boats  was  a  memor- 
able occasion  in  the  annals  of  the  village."  1 

The  arrival  of  this  flotilla  gave  the  name  of  "  tan- 
n6e  des  dix  bateaux"  to  the  year  1788,  which  was 
the  last  year  of  Don  Francisco  Cruzat's  second  ad- 
ministration. In  the  year  before,  M.  Beausoliel,  a 
New  Orleans  merchant,  had  been  captured  by  pirates 
near  the  island  that  still  bears  his  name,  and  subse- 
quently escaping,  recaptured  his  boat  and  killed  the 
pirates.  He  then  returned  to  New  Orleans  and  re- 
ported his  experience  to  the  Governor,  who  thereupon 
issued  the  order  already,  referred  to  that  all  boats 
bound  for  St.  Louis  the  following  spring  should  sail 
together  for  mutual  protection.  This  was  carried  out, 
and  the  flotilla  "  des  dix  bateaux"  made  the  voyage, 
capturing  at  Cottonwood  Creek  the  camp  and  supplies 
of  the  pirates,  with  a  valuable  assortment  of  miscel- 
laneous plunder  which  had  been  taken  from  many 
boats  on  previous  occasions. 

"  In  an  advertisement  published  in  1794  the  patrons 
of  a  special  line  of  boats  were  assured  of  their  safety. 
The  statements  which  were  made  to  allay  apprehen- 
sions showed  that  the  fear  of  pirates  was  not  then 
groundless.  A  large  crew  skillful  in  the  use  of  arms, 
a  plentiful  supply  of  muskets  and  ammunition,  an 
equipment  on  each  boat  of  six  one-pound  cannon  and 
a  loop-holed  rifle-proof  cabin  for  the  passengers  were 
the  means  of  defense  provided,  on  which  were  based 
the  hopes  of  security.  So  formidable  an  array  of 
weapons  was  not  well  calculated  to  inspire  timid  na- 
tures with  confidence  in  the  safety  of  the  voyage."  2 

The  boatmen  were  very  active  and  energetic  in 
rooting  out  the  nests  of  pirates,  and  not  infrequently 

1  Professor  Waterhouse. 

* Ibid. 

administered  lynch-law  in  summary  fashion.  One  of 
the  most  sanguinary  incidents  of  this  character  was 
that  which  occurred  in  1809. 

Island  94  (called  Stack  Island,  or  Crows'  Nest), 
one  hundred  and  seventy  miles  above  Natchez,  was 
notorious  for  many  years  for  being  a  den  for  the  ren- 
dezvous of  a  gang  of  horse- thieves,  counterfeiters, 
robbers,  and  murderers.     It  was  a  small  island  located 
in  the  middle  of  Nine-Mile  Reach.     From  hence  they 
would  sally  forth,  stop  passing  boats,  and  murder  the 
crew,  or  if  this  appeared  impracticable,  would  buy  their 
horses,  flour,  whiskey,  etc.,  and  pay  for  them.     Their 
villanies  became  notorious,  and  several  years'  pursuit 
by  the  civil  law  officers  failed  to  produce  any  results 
in  the  way  of  punishment  or  eradication.     But  they 
were  at  length  made  to  disappear  by  an  application  of 
lynch-law  from  several  keel-boat  crews.    The  full  his- 
tory of  this  affair  has  never  been  fully  unfolded,  and 
perhaps  never  will  be,  but  for  terrible  retribution  and 
complete  annihilation,  outside  of  any  authorized  de- 
crees, it  never  had  its  equal  in  any  administration  of 
lynch-law,  the  recitals  of  which  cast  so  many  shadows 
on  the  annals  of  the  West  and  South.     The  autumn 
and  winter  immediately  preceding  the  month  of  April, 
1809,  had  been  marked  by  numerous  atrocities  on  the 
part  of  the   bandits    of  the    Crows'   Nest.     Several 
boats  and  their  entire  crews  had  disappeared  at  that 
point,  and  no  traces  could  be  found  of  them  afterward. 
The  country  around  and  up  and  down  the  river  had 
been  victimized  and  robbed  in  almost  every  conceiv- 
able form  by  depredators  whose  movements  could  be 
satisfactorily  traced   as  tending   towards   the   Crows' 
Nest.     In   that  month   it  occurred  that  seven  keel- 
boats  were  concentrated  at  the  head  of  Nine-Mile 
Reach,  within  speaking  distance  of  each  other,  being 
detained    by  heavy  contrary  winds.     The    crews    of 
these  were  well  informed  as  to  the  villanies  of  those 
who  harbored  on  the  little  island  a  few  miles  below 
them.     Many  of  them  had  friends  and  old  comrades 
who  were  known  to  have  been  on  the  missing  boats. 
By  what  means  it  was  brought  about,  at  whose  sug- 
gestion or  influence  was  never  made  known,  but  one 
dark  night,  a  few  hours  before   daylight,  eighty  or 
ninety  men  from  these  wind-bound  craft,  well  armed, 
descended  silently  in  their  small  boats  to  the  Crows' 
Nest  and  surprised  its  occupants,  whom  they  secured 
after  a  short  encounter,  in  which  two  of  the  boatmen 
were   wounded    and   several  of   the   robbers   killed. 
Nineteen  men,  a  boy  of  fifteen,  and  two  women  were 
thus  captured.     Shortly  after  sunrise  the  boy  (on  ac- 
count of  his  extreme  youth)  and  the  two  women  were 
allowed  to  depart.     What  was  the  manner  of  punish- 
ment meted  out  to  the  men,  whether  shot  or  hanged, 



was  never  ascertained  with  any  degree  of  certainty. 
None  but  the  boatmen,  the  boy,  and  the  two  women, 
however,  ever  left  the  island  alive,  and  by  twelve 
o'clock  noon  the  crews  were  back  to  their  boats,  and 
the  wind  having  calmed  the  night  previous  they 
shoved  out,  and  by  sunset  were  far  down  the  river 
and  away  from  the  scene  of  the  indisputably  just 
though  unlawful  retribution.  Two  years  afterward 
came  the  terrible  earthquake,  which,  with  the  floods 
of  1811-13,  destroyed  every  vestige  of  the  Crows' 
Nest,  leaving  nothing  of  it  to  be  seen  but  a  low  sand- 
bar, and  with  it  passed  away  from  public  sight  and 
mind  all  signs  of  its  bandits,  their  crimes,  and  the 
awful  doom  that  befell  them. 

Some  years  later  a  new  type  of  river  desperadoes 
appeared,  who,  if  tradition  and  history  do  not  greatly 
belie  them,  were  not  much  more  exemplary  in  their  con- 
duct than  the  pirates  and  buccaneers  who  preceded 
them.  "  Mike"  Fink  in  particular,  the  model  hero  of 
the  Mississippi  boatmen,  who  has  figured  on  the  pages  of 
popular  romance,  was  a  ruffian  of  surpassing  strength 
and  courage.  His  rifle  was  unerring,  and  his  con- 
science was  as  easy  and  accommodating  as  a  man  in 
his  line  of  business  could  wish.  His  earliest  vocation 
was  that  of  a  boatman,  but  he  had  belonged  to  a  com- 
pany of  government  spies  or  scouts  whose  duty  it  was 
to  watch  the  movements  of  the  Indians  on  the  fron- 
tier. At  that  time  Pittsburgh  was  on  the  extreme 
verge  of  the  white  population,  and  the  spies,  who  were 
constantly  employed,  generally  extended  their  recon- 
noissances  forty  or  fifty  miles  west  of  that  place. 
Going  out  singly  and  living  in  Indian  style,  they  as- 
similated themselves  to  the  habits,  tastes,  and  feelings 
of  the  Indians.  In  their  border  warfare  the  scalp  of 
a  Shawnee  was  esteemed  about  as  valuable  as  the  skin 
of  a  panther.  "  Mike"  Fink,  tiring  of  this  after  a 
while,  returned  to  the  water  life,  and  engrafting  sev- 
eral other  occupations  on  that  of  the  boatman,  put  all 
mankind,  except  his  friends  and  employer,  to  whom 
he  was  honest  and  faithful,  under  contribution,  and 
became  nothing  more  nor  less  than  a  freebooter. 
"  Mike,"  haying  murdered  "  Joe"  Stevens,  was  killed 
by  one  of  Joe's  brothers.  James  Girty,  another  of  the 
famous  Mississippi  boatmen,  was  represented  as  a 
"  natural  prodigy,"  not  "  constructed  like  ordinary 
men,  for,  instead  of  ribs,  bountiful  nature  had  pro- 
vided him  with  a  solid  bony  casing  on  both  sides, 
without  any  interstices  through  which  a  knife,  dirk, 
or  bullet  could  penetrate."  He  possessed  amazing 
muscular  power,  and  courage  in  proportion,  and  his 
great  boast  was  that  he  had  "  never  been  whipped." l 

Lloyd's  Steamboat  Directory,  p.  38. 

The  trade  conducted  by  these  boats  was  of  consid- 
erable proportions.  As  early  as  1802  the  annual  ex- 
ports of  the  Mississippi  valley  amounted  to  $2,160,000, 
and  the  imports  to  $2,500,000.  Up  to  1804  the 
annual  value  of  the  fur  trade  of  Upper  Louisiana 
amounted  to  $203,750.  The  province  then  exported 
lead,  salt,  beef,  and  pork,  and  received  Indian  goods 
from  Canada,  domestics  from  Philadelphia  and  Bal- 
timore, groceries  from  New  Orleans,  and  hardware 
from  the  Ohio  River. 

Short  notices  in  the  newspapers  of  that  day,  an- 
nouncing, "  Wanted  to  freight,  from  this  place  to 
Louisville,  about  sixteen  hundredweight,  apply  at 
the  printing-office," 2  or  (;  thirteen  boatmen  are  wanted 
to  navigate  a  few  boats  to  New  Orleans,  to  start  about 
the  15th  of  next  month  ;  the  customary  wages  will  be 
given,"3  or  that  "  the  barge  '  Scott'  will  start  from  St. 
Louis  on  the  1st  of  March,  and  will  take  freight  for 
Louisville  or  Frankfort,  in  Kentucky,  on  reasonable 
terms,  apply  to  John  Steele,"4are  too  laconic  to  more 
than  indicate  the  existence  of  a  commerce,  without 
affording  any  reliable  data  of  its  dimensions  or  the 
appliances  by  which  it  was  carried  on.5 

8  Minsouri  Gazette,  July  5,  1809. 

»  Ibid.,  Aug.  30,  1809. 

«  Ibid.,  Dec.  22,  1809. 

We  doubt  whether  so  unique  or  so  old  a  bill  of  lading  can  be 
found  in  the  valley  of  the  Mississippi  as  that  which  follows. 
It  is  a  translation  from  a  bill  of  sale  executed  the  18th  of  May, 
1741,  by  Barois,  notary  in  Kaskaskia.  What  would  our  steam- 
boatmen  say  now  at  receiving  such  a  price  for  an  old  salt-kettle, 
when  they  are  in  the  practice  of  transporting  one  thousand  to 
twelve  hundred  tons  of  goods  between  the  ports  of  New  Orleans 
and  St.  Louis,  and  are  in  a  very  bad  humor  if  by  chance  they 
fail  to  make  the  trip  in  six  days  ?  '  And  has  been  further  agreed 
that  said  Mettager  promises  to  deliver  to  said  Bienvena,  at  the 
landing-place  of  this  town  of  Kaskaskia,  at  his  own  risks,  the 
fortunes  of  war  excepted,  an  iron  kettle,  weighing  about  two 
hundred  and  ninety  pounds,  used  for  the  manufacture  of  salt, 
and  which  said  Bienvena  owns  in  New  Orleans,  and  said  Bien- 
vena promises  to  pay  to  said  Mettager,  for  his  salary  and 
freight,  after  the  delivery  of  said  kettle,  a  steer  in  good  order, 
three  bushels  of  salt,  two  hundred  pounds  of  bacon,  and  twenty 
bushels  of  Indian  corn,  under  the  penalty  of  all  costs,  etc.' " — 
Republican,  Nov.  30,  1850. 


Shipped  by   Peter  Provenchere,  of  the  town  of  St.  Louis, 

merchant,  on  board  the  boat  "  J.  Maddison,"  whereof  Charles 

Quirey  is  master,  now  lying  at  the  landing  before  the  town  of 

St.  Louis  and  ready  immediately  to  depart  for  Louisville,  Ky. 

F.  T.       Six  packs  of  deer-skins,  marked  and  numbered  as  per 

margin,  and  a  barrel  of  bear-oil,  containing  about  thirty  - 

96     two  gallons,  all  in  good  order  and  well  conditioned,  which 

I  promise  to  deliver  in  like  good  order  and  condition 

99     (unavoidable  accident  excepted)  unto  Mr.  Francis  Tar- 

ascon,  merchant,  Louisville,  or  to  his  assigns. 
109         And,  moreover,  I  acknowledge  to  have  of  the  said 
Peter   Provenchere  a  note  of  Peter  Menard  on   Louis 



At  the  period  of  the  introduction  of  steam  upon 
the  Mississippi,  1817,  the  whole  commerce  from  New 
Orleans  to  the  upper  country  was  transported  in  about 
twenty  barges  of  an  average  of  one  hundred  tons  each, 
and  making  but  one  trip  in  a  year.  The  number  of 
keel-boats  on  the  Ohio  was  estimated  at  one  hundred 
and  sixty,  carrying  thirty  tons  each.  The  whole 
tonnage  was  estimated  at  between  six  thousand  and 
seven  thousand. 

The  advent  of  steam,  of  course,  superseded  the  use 
of  the  keel-boat,  and  the  picturesque  features  of  the 
earlier  navigation  passed  away.  In  the  presence  of 
the  mighty  energy  which  has  revolutionized  the  com- 
merce of  the  world,  the  warp  and  cordelle,  the  pole 
and  running-board  forever  disappeared  from  the  bosom 
of  the  Mississippi. 

"  The  commerce  of  St.  Louis  had  humble  begin- 
nings. The  facilities  for  transportation  were  limited 
to  the  rudest  row-boats,  but  in  course  of  time  there 
has  grown  from  the  birch  canoe  a  vast  inland  fleet, 
which  in  1880  bore  to  the  port  of  St.  Louis  about 
two  million  tons  of  merchandise." 1 

Steamboating. — In  "  The  First  Steamboat  Voyage 
on  the  Western  Waters,"  John  H.  B.  Latrobe  says, 
"  Whether  steam  could  be  employed  on  the  West- 
ern rivers  was  a  question  that  its  success  between  New 
York  and  Albany  was  not  regarded  as  having  entirely 
solved,  and  after  the  idea  had  been  suggested  of 
building  a  boat  at  Pittsburgh,  to  ply  between  Natchez 
and  New  Orleans,  it  was  considered  necessary  that 
investigations  should  be  made  as  to  the  currents  of 
the  rivers  to  be  navigated  in  regard  to  the  new  sys- 
tem." These  investigations  were  undertaken  by  Nich- 
olas J.  Roosevelt,  who  repairing  in  May,  1809,  to 
Pittsburgh,  there  constructed  a  flat-boat  in  which  he 
proceeded  to  New  Orleans  for  the  purpose  of  studying 
and  investigating  the  new  conditions  of  navigation  to 
which  the  steam  system  was  about  to  be  subjected. 
These  investigations  proved  entirely  satisfactory,  not 


111  Lorimier,  inhabitant  of  Cape  Girardeau,  for  one  thou- 
sand pounds  of  reeeiptable  deer-skins,  the  said  note 

112  transferred  to  my  order,  and  I  bind  and  engage  myself 
to  ask  of  the  said  Louis  Lorimier  the  payment  of  the  j 

113  said  note,  and  if  I  reclaim  it  to  deliver  to  the  said  Fran-  | 
cis  Tarascon  or  assign   the  thousand  pounds  of  deer-   j 
skins,  together  with  the  six  packs  and  the  barrel  now 
received,  and  in  case  of  no  payment  to  return  the  note 
to  Mr.  Tarascon,  he  or  they  paying  freight. 

In  witness  whereof  I  have  set  my  hand  to  three  bills  of  lading, 
all  of  the  same  tenor  and  date,  one  being  accomplished,  the  others 
null  and  void. 

Test,  WILLIAM  C.  CARR. 
St.  Louis,  the  8th,  A.D.  1809. 

1  Professor  Waterhouse. 

only  to  Mr.  Roosevelt  but  also  to  Messrs.  Fulton  and 
Livingston,  who  were  to  furnish  the  capital,  and  Mr. 
Roosevelt  in  1811  took  up  his  residence  in  Pittsburgh, 
to  superintend  the  construction  of  the  boat  and  engine 
that  were  to  open  the  Western  waters  to  the  new  sys- 
tem of  steam  navigation. 

The  "  New  Orleans"  was  the  first  steamboat  con- 
structed on  Western  waters.  She  was  one  hundred 
and  sixteen  feet  in  length,  with  twenty  feet  beam,  and 
her  engine  had  a  thirty-four-inch  cylinder,  with  boiler 
and  other  parts  in  proportion.  She  was  about  four 
hundred  tons  burden,  and  cost  in  the  neighborhood 
of  thirty-eight  thousand  dollars.  There  were  two 
cabins,  one  aft  for  ladies,  and  a  larger  one  forward  for 
gentlemen.  The  ladies'  cabin,  which  was  comfortably 
furnished,  contained  four  berths.  The  "  New  Orleans" 
was  launched  in  March,  1811  ;  left  Pittsburgh  in 
October  of  the  same  year;  passed  Cincinnati  October 
27th,  and  reached  Louisville  the  next  day,  in  sixty- 
four  hours'  running  time  from  Pittsburgh.  The  water 
was  too  low  for  her  to  cross  the  falls,  and  while  at 
Louisville  waiting  for  sufficient  water  she  made  several 
short  excursions.  She  also  made  one  trip  to  Cincin- 
nati, arriving  there  in  forty-five  hours'  running  time 
from  Louisville,  Nov.  27,  1811.  While  here  she 
made  an  excursion  trip  to  Columbia,  charging  one  dol- 
lar per  head.  Shortly  afterward,  the  river  rising,  she 
left  this  place  for  New  Orleans,  December,  1811. 
Her  voyage  down  the  river  was  perilous  in  the  ex- 
treme, as  shortly  after  leaving  Louisville  the  great 
earthquakes  began.  She  ran  between  Natchez  and 
New  Orleans,  her  trips  averaging  about  three  weeks. 
July  13,  1814,  she  landed  on  her  upward  voyage  two 
miles  above  Baton  Rouge,  on  the  opposite  side,  and 
spent  the  night  taking  in  wood,  the  night  being  thought 
too  dark  to  run  with  safety.  At  daylight  the  next 
morning  she  got  up  steam,  and  on  starting  the  engine 
it  was  found  she  would  not  move  ahead,  but  kept 
swinging  around.  The  water  had  fallen  during  the 
night,  and  the  captain  found  she  was  resting  on 
a  stump.  An  anchor  was  put  out  on  her  starboard 
quarter,  and  by  the  aid  of  her  capstan  she  was  soon 
hove  off;  but  on  clearing  her  it  was  discovered  she 
had  sprunk  a  leak  and  was  sinking  rapidly.  She  was 
immediately  run  into  the  bank  and  tied  fast,  but  sunk 
so  rapidly  her  passengers  had  barely  time  to  get  off 
with  their  baggage.* 

4  The  "Navigator,"  an  old  and  rare  book  printed  at  Pittsburgh, 
Pa.,  in  the  early  part  of  this  century,  records  many  interest- 
ing facts  concerning  the  '•  early  navigators."  From  this  source 
we  learn  something  of  the  expenses  and  profits  of  the  "  New 
Orleans"  when  a  packet  between  Natchez  and  New  Orleans. 
This  old  chronicle  says,  "  Her  accommodations  are  good  and 



The  history  of  the  early  steamboats  following  the 
"  New  Orleans"  will  be  found  interesting,  as  showing 

her  passengers  generally  numerous,  seldom  less  from  Natchez 
than  from  ten  to  twenty,  at  eighteen  dollars  per  head,  and  when 
she  starts  from  New  Orleans  generally  from  thirty  to  fifty,  and 
sometimes  as  many  as  eight}7  passengers,  at  twenty-five  dollars 
each  to  Natchez.  According  to  the  observations  of  Capt. 
Morris,  of  New  Orleans,  who  attended  her  as  pilot  several  trips, 
the  boat's  receipts  for  freight,  upwards,  have  averaged  the  last 
year  seven  hundred  dollars,  passenger  money  nine  hundred 
dollars;  downward,  three  hundred  dollars  for  freight,  five  hun- 
dred for  passengers.  She  performs  thirteen  trips  in  the  year, 
which,  at  two  thousand  four  hundred  dollars  per  trip,  amount 
to  thirty-one  thousand  two  hundred  dollars.  Her  expenses 
are,  twelve  hands  at  twenty  dollars  per  month,  four  thou- 
sand three  hundred  and  twenty  dollars  ;  captain,  one  thousand 
dollars ;  seventy  cords  of  wood  each  trip,  at  one  dollar  and 
seventy-five  cents,  which  amounts  to  one  thousand  five  hundred 
and  eighty-six  dollars;  in  all  six  thousand  nine  hundred 
and  six  dollars.  It  is  presumed  that  the  boat's  extra  trips 
for  pleasure  or  otherwise,  out  of  her  usual  route  trade,  have  paid 
for  all  the  expenses  of  repairs,  and  with  the  profits  of  the  bar- 
room, for  the  boat's  provisions,  in  which  case  there  will  remain 
a  net  gain  of  twenty-four  thousand  two  hundred  and  ninety- 
four  dollars  for  the  first  year  The  owners  estimate  the  boat's 
value  at  forty  thousand  dollars,  which  gives  an  interest  of  two 
thousand  four  hundred  dollars ;  and  by  giving  one  thousand 
eight  hundred  and  ninety-four  dollars  more  for  furniture,  etc., 
we  have  the  clear  gain  of  twenty  thousand  dollars  for  the  first 
year's  labor  of  the  steamboat  '  New  Orleans.' 

"  The  steamboat  goes  up  in  about  seven  or  eight  days,  and  de-  j 
scends  in  two  or  three,  stopping  several  times  for  freight,  passen- 
gers, etc.     She  stays  at  the  extremes  of  her  journey,  Natchez 
and  New  Orleans,  about  four  or  five  days  to  discharge  and  take 
in  loading." 

The  first  sea-vessel  on  the  Western  waters  was  a  brig  called 
the  "St.  Clair,"  one  hundred  and  twenty  tons  burden,  built  at 
Marietta,  Ohio,  by  Commodore  Preble,  in  1798  or '99,  who  went 
down  the  rivers  in  her  to  New  Orleans,  from  thence  to  Havana 
and  Philadelphia,  and  at  the  latter  port  he  sold  her.  From 
1799  to  1805  there  were  built  at  Pittsburgh  four  ships,  three 
brigs,  and  several  schooners,  but  misfortunes  and  accidents 
happening  to  most  of  them  in  going  down  the  rivers  to  the  gulf, 
ship-building  at  Pittsburgh  and  the  upper  Ohio  went  into  a 
decline,  until  revived  some  years  after  in  the  shape  of  steam- 
boat architecture.  One  of  these  ships  took  out  her  clearance 
papers  at  Pittsburgh  for  Leghorn,  Italy,  and  in  illustrating 
the  commercial  habits  and  enterprise  of  the  American  people, 
Henry  Clay,  in  a  speech  in  Congress,  related  the  following 
anecdote  about  her  :  When  the  vessel  arrived  at  Leghorn,  the 
captain  presented  his  papers  to  the  custom  officer  there, 
but  he  would  not  credit  them,  and  said  to  the  master,  "  Sir, 
your  papers  are  forged,  there  is  no  such  place  as  Pittsburgh  in 
the  world,  your  vessel  must  be  confiscated."  The  trembling 
captain  asked  if  he  had  a  map  of  the  United  States,  which  he 
fortunately  had,  and  produced,  and  the  captain,  taking  the 
officer's  finger,  put  it  down  at  the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi, 
then  led  it  a  thousand  miles  up  that  river,  and  thence  another 
thousand  up  to  Pittsburgh,  and  said,  "  There,  sir,  is  the  port 
whence  my  vessel  cleared  from."  The  astonished  officer,  who, 
before  he  saw  the  map,  would  as  soon  have  believed  the  vessel 
had  been  navigated  from  the  moon,  exclaimed,  "  I  knew  that 
America  could  show  many  wonderful  things,  but  a  fresh-water 
seaport  is  something  I  never  dreamed  of." 

how  quickly  the  innovation  made  itself  felt,  and  how 
speedily  the  new  system  obliterated  the  old. 

The  second  boat  was  the  "  Comet,"  of  twenty-five 
tons,  owned  by  Samuel  Smith,  built  at  Pittsburgh  by 
Daniel  French  ;  stern-wheel  and  vibrating  cylinder, 
French's  patent  granted  in  1809.  The  "  Comet" 
made  a  voyage  to  Louisville  in  1813,  and  to  New 
Orleans  in  the  spring  of  1814 ;  made  two  trips  to 
Natchez,  and  was  sold,  the  engine  being  put  up  on  a 
plantation  to  drive  a  cotton-gin.  Third  boat,  the 
"  Vesuvius,"  three  hundred  and  forty  tons,  built  at 
Pittsburgh  by  Robert  Fulton,  and  owned  by  a  com- 
pany belonging  to  New  York  and  New  Orleans ;  left 
Pittsburgh  for  New  Orleans  in  the  spring  of  1814, 
commanded  by  Capt.  Frank  Ogden.  She  started 
from  New  Orleans,  bound  for  Louisville,  the  1st  of 
June,  1814,  and  grounded  on  a  bar  seven  hundred  miles 
up  the  Mississippi,  where  she  lay  until  the  3d  of  De- 
cember, when  the  river  rose  and  she  floated  off.  She 
returned  to  New  Orleans,  where  she  ran  aground  the 
second  time  on  the  batture,  where  she  lay  until  the 
1st  of  March,  when  the  river  rose  and  floated  her  off. 
She  was  then  employed  some  months  between  New 
Orleans  and  Natchez,  under  the  command  of  Capt. 
Clemment,  who  was  succeeded  by  Capt.  John  De- 
Hart.  Shortly  after  she  took  fire  near  New  Orleans 
and  burned  to  the  water's  edge,  having  a  valuable 
cargo  aboard.  The  fire  was  supposed  to  have  been 
communicated  from  the  boiler,  which  was  in  the  hold. 
The  bottom  was  raised  and  built  upon  at  New  Or- 
leans, and  she  went  into  the  Louisville  trade,  but  was 
soon  after  sold  to  a  company  at  Natchez.  On  ex- 
amination subsequent  to  the  sale  she  was  pronounced 
unfit  for  use,  was  libeled  by  her  commander,  and  sold 
at  public  auction.  Fourth  boat,  the  "  Enterprise," 
forty-five  tons,  built  at  Brownsville,  Pa., -by  Daniel 
French,  under  his  patent,  and  owned  by  a  company  at 
that  place,  made  two  trips  to  Louisville  in  the  summer 
of  1814,  under  the  command  of  Capt.  J.  Gregg. 
On  the  1st  of  December  she  took  in  a  cargo  of  ord- 
nance stores  at  Pittsburgh,  and  left  for  New  Orleans, 
commanded  by  Capt.  Henry  M.  Shreve,  and  ar- 
rived at  New  Orleans  on  the  14th  of  the  same  month. 
She  was  then  dispatched  up  the  river  in  search  of  two 
keel-boats  laden  with  small-arms  which  had  been 
delayed  on  the  river.  She  got  twelve  miles  above 
Natchez,  where  she  met  the  keels,  took  their  masters 
and  cargoes  on  board,  and  returned  to  New  Orleans, 
having  been  but  six  and  a  half  days  absent,  in  which 
time  she  ran  six  hundred  and  twenty-four  miles. 
She  was  then  for  some  time  actively  employed  in 
transporting  troops.  She  made  one  trip  to  the  Gulf 
of  Mexico  as  a  cartel,  and  one  trip  to  the  rapids  of  the 



Red  River  with  troops,  and  nine  voyages  to  Natchez. 
She  left  New  Orleans  for  Pittsburgh  on  the  6th  of 
May,  and  arrived  at  Shippingport  on  the  30th,  twenty- 
five  days  out,  being  the  first  boat  that  ever  arrived  at 
that  port  from  New  Orleans.  She  then  proceeded  on 
to  Pittsburgh,  and  the  command  was  given  to  D. 
Worley,  who  lost  her  in  Rock  Harbor,  at  Shipping- 
port.  Fifth  boat,  the  "  ^tna,"  three  hundred  and 
forty  tons,  built  at  Pittsburgh,  and  owned  by  the  same 
company  as  the  "  Vesuvius,"  left  Pittsburgh  for  New 
Orleans  in  March,  1815,  under  the  command  of  Capt. 
A.  Gale,  and  arrived  at  that  port  in  April  follow- 
ing ;  was  placed  in  the  Natchez  trade ;  was  then 
placed  under  the  command  of  Capt.  Robinson  De 
Hart,  who  made  six  trips  on  her  to  Louisville. 

The  sixth  boat  was  the  "  Zebulon  M.  Pike,"1  built 
by  Mr.  Prentiss  at  Henderson,  Ky.,  on  the  Ohio 
River,  in  1815.  The  "  Pike"  deserves  special  men- 
tion, as  she  was  the  first  steamboat  to  ascend  the 
Mississippi  above  the  mouth  of  the  Ohio,  and  the  first 
to  touch  at  St.  Louis.  Her  first  trip  was  made  in  the 
spring  of  1815  to  Louisville,  Ky.,  two  hundred  and 
fifty  miles  in  sixty-seven  hours,  making  three  and 
three-quarter  miles  per  hour  against  the  current.  On 
her  voyage  to  St.  Louis  she  was  commanded  by  Capt. 

1  Named  after  Zebulon  Montgomery  Pike,  formerly  a  briga- 
dier-general in  the  United  States  army,  who  was  born  at  Lamber- 
ton,  N.  J.,  Jan.  5, 1779,  and  killed  at  York,  near  Toronto,  Upper 
Canada,  on  the  27th  of  April,  1813.  Zebulon,  his  father,  was 
born  in  New  Jersey  in  1751,  and  died  at  Lawrenceburg,  Ind., 
July  27,  1834.  He  was  a  captain  in  the  Revolutionary  army, 
was  present  at  St.  Clair's  defeat  in  1791,  and  was  brevet  lieu- 
tenant-colonel in  the  United  States  army  July  10,  1812.  His 
son  was  appointed  a  cadet  in  the  regiment  of  his  father  March 
3, 1799,  and  was  made  first  lieutenant  in  November  and  captain 
in  August,  1806.  Skilled  in  mathematics  and  in  the  languages, 
he  was  appointed  after  the  purchase  of  Louisiana  to  conduct  an. 
expedition  to  trace  the  Mississippi  to  its  source.  Leaving  St. 
Louis,  Aug.  9, 1805,  he  performed  this  service  satisfactorily,  re- 
turning after  eight  months  and  twenty  days  of  exploration  and 
exposure  to  constant  hardship.  In  1806-7  he  was  engaged  in 
geographical  explorations  of  Louisiana,  during  which,  being 
found  on  Spanish  territory,  he  with  his  party  was  taken  to 
Santa  Fe,  and  after  a  long  examination  and  the  seizure  of  his 
papers  was  escorted  home,  arriving  at  Natchitoches  July  1, 
1807.  In  1810  he  published  a  narrative  of  his  expeditions, 
with  valuable  maps  and  charts.  Receiving  the  thanks  of  the 
government,  he  was  made  major  of  the  Sixth  Infantry,  May  3, 
1808;  lieutenant-colonel  of  the  Fourth  Infantry,  Dec.  31, 1809; 
deputy  quartermaster-general,  April  3,  1812;  colonel  Fifteenth 
Infantry,  July  3,1812;  and  brigadier-general,  March  12,  1813. 
Early  in  1813  he  was  assigned  to  the  principal  army  as  adjutant- 
and  inspector-general,  and  was  selected  to  command  an  expedi- 
tion against  York,  the  capital  of  Upper  Canada.  Landing  under 
a  heavy  fire,  he  charged  the  enemy  in  person,  and  put  them  to 
flight,  carried  one  battery  by  assault,  and  was  moving  to  the 
attack  of  the  main  works,  when  the  explosion  of  the  British 
magazine  mortally  wounded  him,  speedily  causing  his  death  on 
April  27,  1813. 

Jacob  Read.  "  The  hull,"  says  Professor  Water- 
house,  "  was  built  on  the  model  of  a  barge.  The 
cabin  was  situated  on  the  lower  deck,  inside  of  the 
'  running-boards.' 

"  The  boat  was  driven  by  a  low-pressure  engine,  with 
a  walking-beam.  The  wheels  had  no  wheel-houses. 
The  boat  had  but  one  smoke-stack.  In  the  encounter 
with  a  rapid  current  the  crew  reinforced  steam  with 
the  impulse  of  their  own  strength.  They  used  the 
poles  and  running-boards  just  as  in  the  push-boat 
navigation  of  barges.  The  boat  ran  only  by  day,  and 
was  six  weeks  in  making  this  first  trip  from  Louis- 
ville to  St.  Louis.  It  landed  at  the  foot  of  Market 
Street  Aug.  2,  1817.  The  inhabitants  of  the  village 
gathered  on  the  bank  to  welcome  the  novel  visitor. 
Among  them  was  a  group  of  Indians.  As  the  boat 
approached,  the  glare  of  its  furnace  fires  and  the 
volumes  of  murky  smoke  filled  the  Indians  with  dis- 
may. They  fled  to  the  high  ground  in  the  rear  of 
the  village,  and  no  assurances  of  safety  could  induce 
them  to  go  one  step  nearer  to  the  object  of  their 
fears.  They  ascribed  supernatural  powers  to  a  boat 
that  could  ascend  a  rapid  stream  without  the  aid  of 
sail  or  oar.  Their  superstitious  imaginations  beheld 
a  monster  breathing  flame  and  threatening  the  ex- 
tinction of  the  red  man.  In  a  symbolic  sense,  their 
fancy  was  prophetic :  the  progress  of  civilization,  of 
which  the  steamboat  may  be  taken  as  a  type,  is  fast 
sweeping  the  Indian  race  into  the  grave  of  buried 

The  first  notice  we  have  of  the  expected  arrival  of 
the  "  Pike"  at  St.  Louis  is  the  following  announce- 
ment in  the  Missouri  Gazette  of  the  14-th  of  July, 

"  A  steamboat  is  expected  here  from  Louisville  to-morrow. 
There  is  no  doubt  but  what  we  shall  have  a  regular  communi- 
cation with  Louisville,  or  at  least  the  mouth  of  the  Ohio,  by  a 
steam  packet." 

On  the  2d  of  August  the  Gazette  published  this 
notice : 

"The  steamboat  'Pike'  will  be  ready  to  take  in  freight  to- 
morrow for  Louisville  or  any  of  the  towns  on  the  Ohio.  She 
will  sail  for  Louisville  on  Monday  morning,  the  4th  August, 
from  ten  to  twelve  o'clock.  For  freight  or  passage  apply  to  the 
master  on  board. 

"  JACOB  READ,  Master." 

The  return  trip  of  the  "  Pike"  is  also  mentioned  in 
the  Gazette  of  September  2d  as  follows : 

"  The  steamboat '  Pike'  will  arrive  in  a  day  or  two  from  Louis- 
ville. This  vessel  will  ply  regularly  between  that  place  and  this, 
and  will  take  in  her  return  cargo  shortly  after  her  arrival.  Per- 
sons who  may  have  freight,  or  want  passage  for  Louisville  or  any 
of  the  towns  on  the  Ohio,  will  do  well  to  make  early  application 
to  the  master  on  board.  On  her  passage  from  this  to  Louisville 
she  will  make  a  stop  at  Herculaneum,  where  Mr.  M. 'Austin  will 



act  as  agent;  also  at  Ste.  Genevieve  and  Cape  Girardeau.  At 
the  former  place  Mr.  Le  Meilleur  and  at  the  latter  Mr.  Stein- 
beck will  act  as  agents,  with  whom  freight  for  the  '  Pike'  may 
be  deposited  and  shipped. 

"  Persons  wanting  passage  in  this  vessel  will  apply  as  above. 
She  will  p'erform  her  present  voyage  to  and  from  Louisville  in 
about  four  weeks,  and  will  always  afford  an  expeditious  and  safe 
passage  for  the  transportation  of  freight  or  passengers. 

"  JACOB  READ,  Master." 

Again  on  the  22d  of  November  the  Gazette  an- 
nounced that  "  the  steamboat  '  Pike'  with  passengers 
and  freight  arrived  here  yesterday  from  Louisville." 

The  "  Pike"  had  a  capacity  of  thirty-seven  tons,  old 
government  tonnage.  She  made  a  trip  to  New  Or- 
leans, and  several  between  Louisville  and  Pittsburgh, 
after  which  she  was  engaged  in  the  Red  'River  trade. 
She  was  snagged  in  March,  1818.1 

The  next  vessel  after  the  "  Pike"  to  arrive  at  St. 
Louis  was  the  "  Constitution,"  Capt.  R.  T.  Guyard, 
which  arrived  Oct.  2,  1817.  The  steamboat  ceased 
in  1818  to  be  a  novelty  on  the  Mississippi,  and  be- 

1  The  seventh  boat  on  the  Mississippi  was  the  "  Dispatch," 
twenty-five  tons,  built  at  Brownsville,  Pa.,  by  the  same  com- 
pany that  owned  the  "  Enterprise,"  and  under  French's  patent. 
She  made  several  trips  from  Pittsburgh  to  Louisville,  and  one 
to  New  Orleans  and  back  to  Shippingport,  where  she  was  wrecked 
and  her  engine  taken  out.  She  was  commanded  by  Capt.  J. 

The  eighth  boat  was  the  "  Buffalo,"  three  hundred  tons,  built 
at  Pittsburgh  by  Benjamin  H.  Latrobe,  Sr.,  the  distinguished 
architect  of  the  capitol  at  Washington.  She  was  afterwards  sold 
at  sheriff's  sale  in  Louisville  for  eight  hundred  dollars. 

We  find  in  the  American  Weekly  Messenger,  published  in 
Philadelphia,  July  2,  1814,  the  following  letter,  which  relates 
the  circumstances  of  the  launch  of  the  steamboat  "  Buffalo"  : 

«  PITTSBURGH,  June  3,  1814. 

"  We  omitted  to  mention  that  the  steamboat  '  Buffalo'  was 
safely  launched  on  the1 13th  ult.  from  the  yard  of  Mr.  Latrobe. 
This  boat,  which  was  intended  to  complete  the  line  of  steam- 
boats from  New  Orleans  to  Pittsburgh,  is  a  fine  and  uncom- 
monly well  built  vessel  of  two  hundred  and  eighty-five  tons 
burden,  carpenters'  measurement,  and  is  intended  to  trade  reg- 
ularly between  Louisville  and  Pittsburgh  once  a  month  as  long 
as  the  water  will  admit.  She  has  two  cabins  and  four  state- 
rooms for  private  families,  and  will  conveniently  accommodate 
one  hundred  persons  with  beds.  Should  it  be  found  that  her 
draught  of  water,  which  will  be  about  two  feet  six  inches  when 
her  machinery 'is  on  board,  is  too  great  for  the  summer  months, 
it  is  intended  immediately  to  put  on  the  stocks  another  boat  or 
boats  of  smaller  draught  and  less  bulky  construction.  It  is 
expected  that  the  'Buffalo'  will  be  finished  in  time  to  bring  up 
the  cargo  of  the  steamboat  '  Vesuvius'  from  New  Orleans." 

A  succeeding  number  of  the  same  paper,  the  Weekly  American 
Messeiifjer,  contains  the  following  items  from  St.  Louis : 

"ST.  Louis  (I.  T.),  July  2,  1814. 

''  On  Sunday  last  an  armed  boat  arrived  here  from  Prairie  du 
Chien,  under  the  command  of  Capt.  John  Sullivan,  with  his 
company  of  militia  and  thirty-two  men  from  the  gunboat '  Gov- 
ernor Clark,'  their  terms  of  service  (sixty  days)  having  expired. 
Capt.  Yeizer,  who  commands  on  board  the  '  Governor  Clark,'  off 
Prairie  du  Chien,  reports  that  his  vessel  is  completely  manned, 
that  the  fort  is  finished,  christened  Fort  Shelby,  and  occupied 
by  the  regulars,  and  that  all  are  anxious  for  a  visit  from  Dick- 
son  and  his  red  troops.  The  Indians  are  hovering  around  the 

village,  stealing  horses,  and  have  been  successful  in  obtaining  a 
prisoner,  a  Frenchman,  who  had  gone  out  to  look  for  his  horses." 

Ninth  boat,  the  "James  Monroe,"  one  hundred  and  twenty 
tons,  built  at  Pittsburgh,  by  Mr.  Latrobe,  owned  by  a  company 
at  Bayou  Sara,  and  run  in  the  Natchez  trade. 

Tenth  boat,  the  "  Washington,"  four  hundred  tons,  a  two- 
decker,  built  at  Wheeling,  Va.,  constructed  and  partly  owned 
by  Capt.  Henry  M.  Shreve.*  The  engine  of  the  "Washing- 
ton" was  built  at  Brownsville,  Pa.,  under  the  immediate  direc- 
tion of  Capt.  Shreve;  her  boilers  were  on  the  upper  deck,  being 
the  first  boat  on  that  plan,  a  valuable  improvement  by  Capt. 
Shreve,  which  is  now  generally  in  use.  The  "Washington" 
crossed  the  falls  in  September,  1816,  under  the  command  of 
Capt.  Shreve,  bound  for  New  Orleans,  and  returned  to  Louis- 
ville during  the  following  winter.  In  the  month  of  March, 
1817,  she  left  Shippingport  a  second  time,  and  proceeded  to 
New  Orleans,  and  returned  to  Shippingport,  being  absent  only 
forty-five  days.  This  was  the  trip  that  convinced  the  despair- 
ing public  that  steamboat  navigation  would  succeed  on  the 
Western  waters. 

Eleventh  boat,  the  "  Franklin,"  one  hundred  and  twenty- 
five  tons,  built  at  Pittsburgh,  by  Messrs.  Shiras  <t  Cromwell, 
engine  built  by  George  Evans,  left  Pittsburgh  in  December, 
1816,  was  sold  at  New  Orleans,  and  was  subsequently  employed 
in  the  Louisville  and  St.  Louis  trade.  She  was  sunk  in  the 
Mississippi,  near  Ste.  Genevieve,  in  1819,  on  her  way  to  St. 
Louis,  commanded  by  Capt.  Revels. 

Twelfth  boat,  the  "Oliver  Evans"  (afterwards  the  "Con- 
stitution"), seventy  tons,  built  at  Pittsburgh,  by  George  Evans, 
engines  his  patent.  She  left  Pittsburgh  in  December,  1816,  for 
New  Orleans;  she  burst  one  of  her  boilers  in  April,  1817,  off 
Point  Coupee,  by  which  eleven  men  lost  their  lives,  principally 
passengers.  Owned  by  George  Sulton  and  others  of  Pitts- 

Thirteenth  boat,  the  "  Harriet,"  forty  tons,  built  at  Pitts- 
burgh, constructed  and  owned  by  Mr.  Armstrong,  of  Williams- 
port,  Pa.  She  left  Pittsburgh,  October,  1816,  for  New  Orleans, 
crossed  the  falls  in  March,  1817,  made  one  trip  to  New  Orleans, 
and  subsequently  ran  between  that  place  and  Muscle  Shoals,  on 
the  Tennessee  River. 

Fourteenth  boat,  the  "  Kentucky,"  eighty  tons,  built  at 
Frankfort,  Ky.,  in  1817,  and  owned  by  Hanson  &  Beswell,  en- 
gaged in  the  Louisville  trade. 

*  The  St.  Louis  Republican  of  March  7, 1851,  thus  Dotes  the  death  of 
this  eminent  steamboat-man:  "This  worthy  citizen  died  at  the  resi- 
dence of  his  son-in-law  in  this  city  yesterday.  He  was  for  nearly  forty 
years  closely  identified  with  the  commerce  of  the  West,  either  in  flat- 
boats  or  steam  navigation.  During  the  administrations  of  Adams, 
Jackson,  and  Van  Bureu  he  filled  the  post  of  United  States  superin- 
tendent of  Western  river  improvements,  and  by  the  steam  snag-boat, 
of  which  he  was  the  inventor,  contributed  largely  to  the  safety  of  West- 
ern commerce.  To  him  belongs  the  honor  of  demonstrating  the  prac- 
ticability of  navigating  the  Mississippi  Kiver  with  steamboats.  He 
commanded  the  first  steamer  that  ever  ascended  that  river,  and  made 
several  and  valuable  improvements,  both  of  the  steam-engine  and  of  the 
hull  and  cabins  of  the  Western  steamboats.  While  the  British  were 
threatening  New  Orleans  in  1814-15,  he  was  employed  by  Gen.  Jack- 
son in  several  hazardous  enterprises,  and  during  the  battle  of  the  8th  of 
January  served  one  of  the  field-pieces  which  destroyed  the  advancing 
column  led  by  Gen.  Keane.  His  name  lias  become  historically  associated 
with  Western  river  navigation,  and  will  long  be  cherished  by  his  numer- 
ous friends  throughout  this  valley." 



came   a   recognized  agent  of  the  commerce  of  the 

The  arrivals  and  departures  of  vessels  about  this 
time  were  occasionally  noticed  by  the  Gazette  as  fol- 
lows : 

Fifteenth  boat,  the  "Governor  Shelby,"  ninety  tons,  built 
at  Louisville,  engine  by  Bolton  &  Ebolt,  of  England.  In  1819 
she  was  running  very  successfully  in  the  Louisville  trade. 

Sixteenth  boat,  the  ''New  Orleans,"  three  hundred  tons, 
built  at  Pittsburgh  by  Messrs.  Fulton  &  Livingston  in  1817,  for 
the  Natchez  trade,  sunk  near  Baton  Rouge,  but  was  raised,  and 
sunk  again  near  New  Orleans  in  February,  1819,  about  two 
months  after  her  first  sinking. 

Seventeenth  boat,  the  "  Vesta,"  one  hundred  tons,  built  at 
Cincinnati  in  1817,  and  owned  by  Messrs.  Bosson,  Cowdin  <t 
Co.  She  plied  regularly  as  a  packet  between  Cincinnati  and 

Eighteenth  boat,  the  "George  Madison,"  two  hundred  tons, 
built  at  Pittsburgh  in  1818,  by  Messrs.  Voorhees,  Mitchell, 
Rodgers  &  Todd,  of  Frankfort,  Ky.,  was  engaged  in  the  Louis- 
ville trade  in  1819. 

Nineteenth  boat,  the  "Ohio,"  four  hundred  and  forty-three 
tons,  built  at  New  Albany,  Ind.,  in  1818,  by  Messrs.  Shreve  & 
Blair,  in  the  Louisville  trade. 

Twentieth  boat,  the  "  Napoleon,"  three  hundred  and  thirty- 
two  tons,  built  at  Shippingport  in  1818,  by  Messrs.  Shreve, 
Miller  &  Breckinridge,  of  Louisville,  engaged  in  the  Louisville 

Twenty-first  boat,  the  "Volcano,"  two  hundred  and  fifty 
tons,  built  at  New  Albany,  Ind.,  by  Messrs.  John  &  Robinson 
De  Hart  in  1818.  She  was  purchased  in  1819  by  a  company  at 
Natchez,  and  ran  between  that  port  and  New  Orleans. 

Twenty-second  boat,  the  "General  Jackson,"  one  hundred 
and  fifty  tons,  built  at  Pittsburgh  in  1818,  and  owned  by  R. 
Whiting,  of  Pittsburgh,  and  Gen.  Carroll,  of  Tennessee,  in  the 
Nashville  trade. 

Twenty-third  boat,  the  "  Eagle,"  seventy  tons,  built  at  Cin- 
cinnati in  1818,  owned  by  James  Berthoud  &  Son,  of  Ship- 
pingport, Ky.,  in  the  Natchez  trade. 

Twenty-fourth  boat,  the  "  Hecla,"  seventy  tons,  built  at 
Cincinnati  in  1818,  and  owned  by  Messrs.  Honoris  &  Barbaror, 
of  Louisville,  in  the  Louisville  trade. 

Twenty-fifth  boat,  the  "  Henderson,"  eighty-five  tons,  built 
at  Cincinnati  in  1818,  and  owned  by  Messrs.  Bowers,  of  Hen- 
derson, Ky.,  in  the  Henderson  and  Louisville  trade. 

Twenty-sixth  boat,  the  "Johnson,"  eighty  tons,  built  at 
AVheeling,  Vn.,  in  1818,  and  in  1819  engaged  in  the  Yellow- 
stone expedition. 

Twenty-seventh  boat,  the  "  Cincinnati,"  one  hundred  and 
twenty  tons,  built  at  Cincinnati  in  1818,  and  owned  by  Messrs. 
Paxon  &  Co.,  of  New  Albany,  Ind.,  in  the  Louisville  trade. 

Twenty-eighth  boat,  the  "  Exchange,"  two  hundred  tons, 
built  in  Louisville,  Ky.,  in  1818,  and  owned  by  David  L.  Ward, 
of  Jefferson  County,  Ky.,  in  the  Louisville  trade. 

Twenty-ninth  boat,  the  "  Louisiana,"  forty-five  tons,  built 
at  New  Orleans  in  1818,  and  owned  by  Mr.  Duplisa,  of  New 
Orleans,  in  the  Natchez  trade. 

Thirtieth  boat,  the  "James  Ross,''  three  hundred  and  thirty 
tons,  built  at  Pittsburgh  in  1818,  and  owned  by  Messrs.  Whit- 
ing  <fe  Stackpole,  of  Pittsburgh,  in  the  Louisville  trade. 

Thirty-first  boat,  the  "  Frankfort,"  three  hundred  and  twenty 
tons,  built  at  Pittsburgh  in  1818,  and  owned  by  Messrs.  Voor- 
hees &,  Mitchell,  of  Frankfort,  Ky.,  in  the  Louisville  trade. 

Thirty-second  boat,  the  "Tamerlane,"  three   hundred  and 

"On  Saturday  last  the  steamboat  'Franklin,'  of  about  one 
hundred  and  forty  tons  burden,  arrived  here  in  thirty-two  days 
from  New  Orleans  with  passengers  and  an  assorted  cargo.  The 
'  Franklin"  is  admirably  calculated  for  a  regular  packet-boat  to 
ply  between  St.  Louis  and  New  Orleans.  Her  stowage  is  capa- 

twenty  tons,  built  at  Pittsburgh  in  1818,  and  owned  by  Messrs. 
Bogart  it  Co.,  of  New  York,  in  the  Louisville  trade. 

Thirty-third  boat,  the  "  Perseverance,"  forty  tons,  built  at 
Cincinnati  in  1818,  and  owned  at  that  place. 

Thirty-fourth  boat,  the  "St.  Louis,"  two  hundred  and 
twenty  tons,  built  at  Shippingport,  Ky.,  in  1818,  and  owned  by 
Messrs.  Hewes,  Douglass,  Johnson,  and  others,  in  the  St.  Louis 

Thirty-fifth  boat,  the  "  General  Pike,"  built  at  Cincinnati  in 
1818,  intended  to  ply  between  Louisville,  Cincinnati,  and  Mays- 
ville  as  a  passenger  packet,  and  owned  by  a  company  at  Cin- 
cinnati. She  was  the  first  steamboat  built  on  the  Western  waters 
for  the  exclusive  convenience  of  passengers.  Her  accommo- 
dations were  ample,  her  apartments  spacious  and  convenient. 
She  measured  one  hundred  feet  keel,  twenty-five  feet  beam, 
and  drew  only  three  feet  three  inches  water.  The  length  of 
her  cabin  was  forty  feet,  and  the  breadth  twenty-five  feet.  At 
one  end  were  six  state-rooms,  and  at  the  other  end  eight.  Be- 
tween the  two  sets  of  state-rooms  was  a  saloon  forty  by  eighteen 
feet,  sufficiently  large  for  the  accommodation  of  one  hundred 
passengers.  The  "  Pike"  was  built  as  an  opposition  boat  to 
the  "  Vesta,"  built  in  1817.  The  rivalry  of  these  boats  gave 
rise  to  a  slang  phrase  which  held  its  place  with  the  boys  at  that 
period,  and  outlived  the  career  of  both  boats.  There  are  old 
citizens  of  Cincinnati  now  living  who,  if  they  will  carry  their 
memories  back  to  the  '20's,  will  remember  the  boys  in  the 
streets  and  through  the  commons  yelling,  "  Go  ahead,  '  Vesta,' 
the  '  Pike'  is  coming  !" 

Thirty-sixth  boat,  the  "Alabama,"  twenty-five  tons,  built  on 
Lake  Ponchartrain,  La.,  in  1818,  in  the  Red  River  trade. 

Thirty-seventh  boat,  the  "Calhoun,"  eighty  tons,  built  in  1818 
at  Frankfort,  Ky.,  and  afterwards  employed  in  the  Yellowstone 
expedition.  • 

Thirty-eighth  and  thirty-ninth  boats,  the  "  Expedition,"  one 
hundred  and  twenty  tons,  and  "  Independence,"  fifty  tons,  built 
near  Pittsburgh,  Pa.,  both  of  which  were  destined  for  the  Yel- 
lowstone expedition,  the  "  Independence"  being  the  first  boat 
that  undertook  to  stem  the  powerful  current  of  the  Missouri. 
They  both  arrived  at  Franklin  (Boon's  Lick),  Howard  Co., 
two  hundred  miles  up  the  Missouri  River  from  its  mouth,  in 
the  month  of  June,  1819. 

Fortieth  boat,  the  "Maid  of  Orleans,"  one  hundred  tons, 
built  at  Philadelphia  in  1818,  and  owned  by  a  company  in  New 
Orleans,  and  afterwards  (in  1819)  engaged  in  the  St.  Louis 
trade.  She  was  constructed  both  for  river  and  sea  navigation, 
— the  latter  by  sails,  the  former  by  steam-power.  She  arrived 
at  New  Orleans,  schooner-rigged,  ascended  the  Mississippi  by 
steam,  and  was  the  first  vessel  which  ever  reached  St.  Louis 
from  an  Atlantic  port. 

Forty-first  bflat,  the  "  Ramapo,"  sixty  tons,  built  in  New 
York  in  1818,  and  in  1819  employed  in  the  Natchez  trade. 

Forty-second  boat,  the  "Mobile."  one  hundred  and  fifty  tons, 
built  at  Providence,  R.  I.,  in  1818,  owned  at  Mobile,  and  in 
1819  employed  in  the  Louisville  traile. 

Forty-third  boat,  the  "  Mississippi,"  four  hundred  tons,  built 
in  New  Orleans  in  1818,  arrived  at  Havana  in  February,  1819. 
She  was  intended  to  ply  between  Havana  and  Matanzas. 

Forty-fourth  boat,  the  steamboat  "Western  Engineer,"  built 
on  the  Monongahela  in  1818-19,  descended  the  Ohio  River  from 
Pittsburgh  about  the  1st  of  May,  1819,  and  afterwards  ascended 



cious,  and  her  cabin  commodious  and  elegant." — Gazette,  June 
12,  1818. 

"  The  steamboat  '  Franklin'  left  this  place  yesterday  with 
freight  and  passengers  for  New  Orleans.  The  master  expects 
to  arrive  there  in  eight  days.  Our  common  barges  take  from 
twenty-five  to  thirty  days  to  perform  the  voyage." — Gazette, 
June  19,  1818. 

"  List  of  Steamboats  Trading  to  Ne<n  Orleans. — '  Franklin,' 
one  hundred  and  thirty-one  tons;  'Eagle;'  'Pike'  (sunk); 
'  James  Monroe'  (sunk,  now  repairing)." — Gazette,  Sept.  5, 1818. 

"The  new  steamboat  'Johnson,'  built  by  Col.  Johnson,  of 
Kentucky,  passed  Shawneetown  the  first  of  this  month  bound 
to  New  Orleans.  She  is  intended  as  a  regular  trader  from  Ken- 
tucky on  the  Mississippi  and  the  Missouri  as  far  up  as  the  Yel- 
lowstone River."—  Gazette,  Nov.  6,  1818. 

the   Missouri    River  in  connection   with  the   government  ex-  i 
ploring  expedition.     The  object  of  the  expedition  was  princi-   i 
pally  to  make  a  correct  military  survey  of  the  river  and  to  fix   | 
upon  a  site  for  a  military  establishment  at  or  near  the  junction 
of  the  Yellowstone  with  the  Missouri,  to  ascertain  the  point 
where  the  Rocky  Mountains  are  intersected  by  the  forty-ninth 
degree  of  latitude,  which  formed  the  western  boundary  between 
the  possessions  of  Great  Britain  and  the  United  States,  and  to 
inquire  into  the  "  trading  capacity  and  genius  of  the  various 
tribes  through  which  they  may  pass."     The  officers  employed 
on  this  duty  were  Mnj.  S.  H.  Long,  of  the  United  States  Engi- 
neers, Maj.  Thomas  Biddle,  United  States  Corps  of  Artillery,  and 
Messrs.  Graham  and  Swift.    The  boat  was  completely  equipped 
for  defense  and  was  manned  by  a  few  troops.     The  "Western  En-  i 
gineer"  drew  only  two  feet  six  inches  of  water.     She  was  well   ; 
built,  was  bottomed  with  iron  or  copper,  and  had  a  serpent's 
head  on  her  bow  through  which  the  steam  passed,  presenting  a 
novel  appearance. 

The  launch  of  the  "  Western  Engineer"  at  Pittsburgh,  March   i 
26th,  was  noticed  in  the  Gazette  of  May  26,  1819,  as  follows: 

"As  the  launching  of  the  United  States  steamboat  at  Pitts-  ! 
burgh  has  been  announced,  and  as  it  may  not  be  generally  , 
known  what  are  the  objects  in  view,  I  send  you  some  extracts  of 
a  letter  from  a  young  officer  going  upon  the  expedition.  She 
is  called  the  '  Western  Engineer/  and  will  start  from  Pittsburgh  i 
about  the  first  of  May.  It  is  intended  that  she  shall  navigate 
the  Western  waters  as  far  as  the  Yellowstone  Iliver,  which  will 
require  upwards  of  two  years.  It  is  not  expected  that  they 
will  do  more  than  explore  the  waters  of  the  Missouri  the  first 
season,  as  the  movements  will  be  gradual,  in  order  to  obtain  a 
thorough  knowledge  of  that  section  of  the  country,  with  a  his- 
tory of  the  inhabitants,  soil,  minerals,  and  curiosities.  The 
expedition  is  under  the  direction  of  Maj.  Stephen  II.  Long,  of 
New  Hampshire,  of  the  topographical  engineers,  attended  by 
Mr.  James  Graham,  of  Virginia,  Mr.  William  H.  Swift,  from  the 
United  States  Military  Academy,  Maj.  Thomas  Biddle,  of  Phila- 
delphia, of  the  artillery,  and  the  following  gentlemen:  Dr. 
Jessup,  of  Philadelphia,  mineralogist;  Dr.  Say,  of  Philadelphia, 
botanist  and  geologist;  Dr.  Baldwin,  of  Wilmington,  Del.,  zool- 
ogist and  physician ;  Dr.  Peale,  of  Philadelphia,  landscape 
painter  and  ornithologist ;  Mr.  Seymour,  of  Philadelphia,  land- 
scape painter  and  ornithologist;  Maj.  O'Fallon,  Indian  agent. 

"She  is  well  armed,  and  carries  an  elegant  flag,  painted  by 
Mr.  Peale,  representing  a  white  man  and  an  Indian  shaking 
hands,  the  calumet  of  peace,  and  a  sword.  The  boat  is  seventy- 
five  feet  long,  thirteen  feet  beam,  draws  nineteen  inches  water 
with  her  engine,  which,  together  with  all  the  machinery,  is 
placed  below  deck  entirely  out  of  sight.  The  steam  passes  off 
through  the  mouth  of  the  figure-head  (a  large  serpent).  The 
wheels  are  placed  in  the  stern,  to  avoid  the  snags  and  sawyers 
which  are  so  common  in  these  waters.  She  has  a  mast  to  ship 
or  not  as  may  be  necessary.  The  expedition  will  depart  with 
the  best  wishes  of  the  scientific  part  of  our  country." 

Forty-fifth  boat,  the  "  Rifleman,"  two  hundred  and  fifty  tons, 
built  in  Louisville  in  1819,  and  owned  by  Messrs.  Butler  &  Ea- 
rners, in  the  Louisville  trade. 

Forty-sixth  boat,  the  "  Car  of  Commerce,"  one  hundred  and 
fifty  tons,  built  at  Pittsburgh,  Pa.,  in  1819,  owned  by  William  F. 

Patterson  &  Co.,  of  Louisville,  and  engaged  in  the  trade  of  that 

Forty-seventh  boat,  the  "  Paragon,"  three  hundred  and 
seventy-six  tons,  built  in  1819  at  Cincinnati  by  William  Par- 
sons, and  owned  by  William  Noble  and  Robert  Neilson,  in  the 
Louisville  trade. 

Forty-eighth  boat,  the  "  Maysville,"  one  hundred  and  fifty 
tons,  built  in  1819,  and  owned  by  Messrs.  Murphy,  Moreton, 
and  J.  Birkley,  of  Washington,  Ky.,  and  Messrs.  Armstrong 
and  Campbell,  of  Maysville. 

Forty-ninth  boat,  the  "  Columbus,"  four  hundred  and  sixty 
tons,  built  at  New  Orleans  in  1819,  and  owned  by  a  company 
there.  She  was  afterwards  engaged  in  the  Louisville  trade. 

Fiftieth  boat,  the  "General  Clark,"  one  hundred  and  fifty 
tons,  built  at  Louisville  in  1819,  and  owned  by  a  company  there. 

Fifty-first  boat,  the  "Vulcan,"  three  hundred  tons,  built  at 
Cincinnati,  1819,  for  the  New  Orleans  trade,  and  owned  by  James 
&  Douglass  and  Hugh  &  James,  all  of  Cincinnati. 

Fifty-second  boat,  the  "  Missouri,"  one  hundred  and  seventy- 
five  tons,  built  at  Newport,  Ky.,  1819,  owned  by  John  and 
Walker  Yeastman,  and  destined  for  the  St.  Louis  trade. 

Fifty-third  boat,  the  "  New  Comet,"  one  hundred  tons,  altered 
from  a  barge  called  the  "Eliza"  in  1819,  owned  by  Isaac  Hough 
and  James  W.  Byrne,  of  Cincinnati,  and  intended  for  the  New 
Orleans  trade. 

Fifty-fourth  boat,  the  "Newport,"  fifty  tons,  built  at  New- 
port, Ky.,  in  1819,  owned  by  a  company  at  New  Orleans,  and 
in  1819  engaged  in  the  Red  River  trade. 

Fifty-fifth  boat,  the  "  Tennessee,"  four  hundred  tons,  built 
at  Cincinnati  in  1S19,  owned  by  Messrs.  Breedlove  &  Bardford, 
of  New  Orleans,  and  a  company  of  Nashville,  afterwards  em- 
ployed in  the  Louisville  trade.  The  "  Tennessee"  was  sunk  in 
the  Mississippi  by  striking  a  snag  on  a  very  dark  night  in  1823. 
The  loss  of  life  was  large,  some  sixty-odd  persons  being  drowned, 
among  them  several  persons  of  distinction.  This  disaster  caused 
great  excitement  throughout  the  country,  and  deterred  numbers 
from  traveling  on  steamboats. 

Fifty-sixth  boat,  the  "General  Robinson,"  two  hundred  and 
fifty  t»ns,  built  at  Newport,  Ky.,  in  1819,  owned  by  a  company 
at  Nashville,  and  run  in  that  trade. 

Fifty-seventh  boat,  the  "  United  States,"  seven  hundred  tons, 
built  at  Jeflersonville,  Ind.,  for  the  Natchez  trade  in  1819,  and 
owned  by  Hart  and  others.  She  was  the  largest  steamboat 
which  had  been  built  in  the  Western  country. 

Fifty-eighth  bout,  the  ''Post-Boy,"  two  hundred  tons,  built 
at  New  Albany,  Ind.,  in  1819,  owned  by  H.  M.  Shreve  and 
others,  and  run  from  Louisville  to  New  Orleans.  This  was  one 
of  the  packets  employed  by  the  Postmaster-General  for  carry- 
ing the  mail  between  those  places,  according  to  an  act  of  Con- 
gress passed  March,  1819.  By  this  act  the  whole  expense  was 
not  to  exceed  that  of  transporting  the  mail  by  land. 

Fifty-ninth  boat,  the  "  Elizabeth, "  one  hundred  and  fifty 
tons,  built  at  Salt  River,  Ky.,  in  1819,  owned  by  a  company  at 
Elizabeth,  Ky.,  and  engaged  in  the  New  Orleans  trade. 

Sixtieth  boat,  the  "  Fayette,"  one  hundred  and  fifty  tons, 
built  in  J819,  owned  by  John  Gray  and  others,  in  the  Louis- 
ville trade. 



The  arrival  about  March  1,  1819,  of  "the  large 
and  elegant  steamboat  '  Washington'  "  from  New  Or- 
leans, which  city  she  left  on  the  1st  of  February,  was 
announced  in  the  Gazette  of  March  3d.  The  steam- 
boat "  Harriet"  arrived  from  the  same  port  early  in 
April.  The  "Sea-Horse,"  which  arrived  at  New  Or- 
leans from  New  York,  and  the  "  Maid  of  Orleans," 
which  reached  the  same  port  from  Philadelphia  early 
in  1819,  were  probably  the  first  steamboats  that  ever 
performed  a  voyage  of  any  length  on  the  ocean. 

The  "  Maid  of  Orleans"  continued  her  voyage  to 
St.  Louis,  where  she  arrived  about  the  1st  of  May. 
On  the  same  day  the  steamboat  "  Independence," 
Capt.  Nelson,  arrived  from  Louisville.  The  Missouri 
Gazette  of  the  19th  of  May,  1819,  has  the  following 
steamboat  memoranda : 

"  The  '  Expedition/  Capt.  Craig,  arrived  here  on  Wednesday 
last,  destined  for  the  Yellowstone.  The  'Maid  of  Orleans,' 
Capt.  Turner,  sailed  for  New  Orleans,  and  the  'Independence,' 
Capt.  Nelson,  for  Franklin,  on  the  Missouri,  on  Sunday  last. 
The  '  Exchange,'  Capt.  Whips,  arrived  here  on  Monday,  and 
will  return  to  Louisville  in  a  few  days  for  a  new  set  of  boilers, 
she  having  burst  her  boiler  in  ascending  the  Mississippi. 

"The  'St.  Louis,'  Capt.  Hewes,  the  'James  Monroe/  and 
'  Hamlet'  were  advertised  to  sail  from  New  Orleans  to  St.  Louis 
about  the  middle  of  last  month. 

"  In  1817,  less  than  two  years  ago,  the  first  steamboat  arrived 
at  St.  Louis.  We  hailed  it  as  the  day  of  small  things,  but  the 
glorious  consummation  of  all  our  wishes  is  daily  arriving. 
Already  during  the  present  season  we  have  seen  on  our  shores 
five  steamboats  and  several  more  daily  expected.  Who  would 
or  could  have  dared  to  conjecture  that  in  1819  we  would  have 
witnessed  the  arrival  of  a  steamboat  from  Philadelphia  or  New 
York  ?  yet  such  is  the  fact.  The  Mississippi  has  become  familiar 
to  this  great  American  invention,  and  another  new  arena  is 
open.  A  steamboat,  owned  by  individuals,  has  started  from 
St.  Louis  for  Franklin,  two  hundred  miles  up  the  Missouri,  and 
two  others  are  now  here  destined  for  the  Yellowstone.  The 
time  is  fast  approaching  when  a  journey  to  the  Pacific  will 
become  as  familiar,  and  indeed  more  so,  than  it  was  fifteen  or 
twenty  years  ago  to  Kentucky  or  Ohio.  '  Illustrious  nation/ 
said  a  distinguished  foreigner,  speaking  of  the  New  York 
canal,  'illustrious  nation,  whose  conceptions  are  only  equaled 
by  her  achievements.' " 

The  "  Independence,"  Capt.  Nelson,  was  the  first 
steamboat  that  entered  the  Missouri  River.  Sailing 
from  St.  Louis  in  May,  1819,  she  reached  Franklin, 
on  the  Missouri,  after  a  voyage  of  thirteen  days,1 

Sixty-first  boat,  the  "  Elkhorn,"  three  hundred  ton?,  built  at 
Portland,  Ky.,  in  1819,  owned  by  Messrs.  Gray  &  Anderson, 
in  the  New  Orleans  trade. 

Sixty-second  boat,  the  "  Providence,"  two  hundred  ton?,  built 
near  Frankfort,  Ky.,  in  1819, and  owned  by  L.  Castleman  A  ('<>. 

Sixty-third  boat,  the  "  General  Putnam,"  two  hundred  tons 
built  at  Newport,  Ky.,  in  1819,  owned  by  James  M.  Byrne  & 
Co.,  of  Cincinnati,  and  engaged  in  the  New  Orleans  trade. 

i  "FnAKKi.iN  (BOON'S  LICK),  May  19,  1819. 
"ARRIVAL  OF  THE  STEAMBOAT. — With  no  ordinary  sensation 
of  pride  and  pleasure  we  announce  the  arrival  this  morning  at 

of  which  four  days  were  spent  at  different  landings. 
Her  voyage  extended  up  the  Missouri  to  Old  Chariton, 
from  whence  she  returned  to  St.  Louis.2  The  United 
States  government  the  year  previous  had  determined 
to  explore  the  Missouri  River  up  to  the  Yellowstone, 
and  for  that  purpose,  as  elsewhere  stated,  Major  S. 
H.  Long  had  built  at  Pittsburgh  the  "  Western  En- 

To  Col.  Henry  Atkinson  had  been  intrusted  the 
command  of  this  expedition,  and  starting  from 
Plattsburgh,  N.  Y..  in  the  latter  part  of  1818,  he 
arrived  in  Pittsburgh  in  the  spring  of  1819.  The 
"  Western  Engineer"  was  completed  soon  after,  and 
arrived  at  St.  Louis  June  8,  1819.  On  the  21st  the 
expedition  started  for  the  Missouri.3  "  It  was  ac- 

this  place  of  th'e  elegant  steamboat  'Independence/  Capt.  Nel- 
son, in  seven  .sailing  days  (but  thirteen  from  the  time  of  her 
departure)  from  St.  Louis,  with  passengers  and  cargo  of  flour, 
whiskey,  sugar,  iron  castings,  etc.,  being  the  first  steamboat  that 
ever  attempted  ascending  the  Missouri.  She  was  joyfully  met 
by  the  inhabitants  of  Franklin,  and  saluted  by  the  firing  of 
cannon,  which  was  returned  by  the  '  Independence.' 

"  The  grand  desideratum,  the  important  fact,  is  now  ascer- 
tained that  steamboats  can  safely  navigate  the  Missouri." 

s  "  On  Wednesday  last  arrived  steamboat  '  Harriet/  Capt. 
Armitage,  twenty-six  days  from  New  Orleans. 

"  On  Sunday  arrived  the  '  Johnson/  from  Cape  Girardeau, 
with  United  States  stores,  one  of  the  fleet  destined  for  the  Mis- 
souri expedition. 

"  On  Saturday  the  steamboat '  Independence/  Capt.  Nelson, 
arrived  from  Franklin  and  Chariton,  on  the  Missouri.  The 
'  Independence'  has  met  with  no  accident  on  her  route,  although 
much  troubled  with  bars  and  the  impediments  in  the  channel 
of  the  river.  Both  the  inhabitants  of  Franklin  and  Chariton 
gave  a  dinner  to  the  captain  and  passengers  on  board.  The 
'Independence'  was  three  days  coming  from  Franklin,  but  only 
running  nineteen  hours.  She  has  been  absent  from  St.  Louis 
in  all  twenty-one  days.  This  trip  forms  a  proud  event  in  the 
history  of  Missouri.  The  Missouri  has  hitherto  resisted  almost 
effectually  all  attempts  at  navigation  ;  she  has  opposed  every 
obstacle  she  could  to  the  tide  of  emigration  which  was  rolling 
up  her  banks  and  dispossessing  her  dear  red  children,  but  her 
white  children,  although  children  by  adoption,  have  become  so 
numerous,  and  are  increasing  so  rapidly,  that  she  is  at  last 
obliged  to  yield  them  her  favor.  The  first  attempt  to  ascend 
her  by  steam  has  succeeded,  and  we  anticipate  the  day  as  speedy 
when  the  Missouri  will  be  as  familiar  to  steamboats  as  the  Mis- 
sissippi or  Ohio.  Capt.  Nelson  merits  and  will  receive  deserved 
credit  for  his  enterprise  and  public  spirit  in  this  undertaking." 
—  Gazette,  June  9,  1819. 

*  "  The  steamboat  '  Johnson'  passed  here  on  Wednesday  last 
with  troops,  etc.,  for  the  Yellowstone." — Gazette,  May  25,  1819. 

"  The  steamboat  '  Jefferson'  arrived  on  Saturday  last  from 
Louisville.  She  is  another  of  Col.  Johnson's  boats  destined 
for  the  Western  expedition,  and  has  been  delayed  by  the 
breaking  of  her  machinery." — Gazette,  June  23,  1819. 

"The  '  Western  Engineer'  left  St.  Louis  on  Monday,  the  21st 
inst.,  and  proceeded  on  her  journey  up  the  Missouri.  This 
undertaking  is  worthy  of  an  enlightened  and  patriotic  gov- 
ernment, and  its  success  will  confer  deserved  renown  both  on 
its  projectors  and  its  executors." — Gazette,  June  23,  1819. 



companied  by  three  other  United  States  steamers  and 
nine  keel-boats,  bearing  a  detachment  of  government 
troops.  The  names  of  the  steamboats  and  of  their 
commanders  were  '  Thomas  Jefferson,'  Capt.  Orfort ; 
*  R.  M.  Johnson,1  Capt.  Colfax ;  and  the  '  Expedition,' 
Capt.  Craig. 

"  The  little  fleet  entered  the  Missouri  with  martial 
music,  display  of  flags,  and  salute  of  cannon.  In 
honor  of  the  statesman  who  acquired  the  territory  of 
Louisiana  for  the  United  States,  the  precedence  was 
accorded  to  the  '  Thomas  Jefferson,'  but  some  disar- 
rangement of  its  machinery  prevented  this  boat  from 
taking  the  lead,  and  the  '  Expedition'  secured  the 
distinction  of  being  the  first  steamer  of  this  flotilla  to 
enter  'the  Missouri.  The  'Thomas  Jefferson'  was 
doomed  to  a  still  worse  mishap,  for  not  long  after 
it  ran  on  a  snag  and  sank. 

"  The  steam-escape  of  the  '  Western  Engineer'  was 
shaped  like  a  great  serpent  coiled  on  the  bow  of  the 
boat  in  the  attitude  of  springing,  and  the  steam  hiss- 
ing from  the  fiery  mouth  of  the  python  filled  the  In- 
dians with  terror.  They  thought  that  the  wrath  of 
the  Great  Spirit  had  sent  this  monster  for  their  chas- 

The  Gazette  of  the  2d  of  June  contained  the  fol- 
lowing "  steamboat  news :" 

"  Arrived  at  this  place  on  the  1st  instant  the  fast-sailing  and 
elegant  steamboat  St.  Louis,  Capt.  Hewes,  in  twenty-eight  days 
from  New  Orleans;  passengers,  Col.  Atkinson  and  Maj.  Mcln- 
tosh,  of  the  United  States  army,  and  others.     The  captain  has 
politely  favored  us  with  the  following  from  his  log-book :  '  On 
the  oth   May  left  New  Orleans.     At  3  P.M.  passed  steamboat 
Volcano,  bound  down.     10th,  at  6  A.M.,  passed  steamboat  James   \ 
Ross  ;  at  11  P.M.  passed  steamboat  Jiifleman,  at  anchor,  with 
shaft  broke.     15th,  at   3   P.M.,  passed  steamboat  Madison,  six   | 
days  from  the  Falls  of  the  Ohio.     20th,  passed  steamboat  Gov- 
ernor Shelby,  bound  for  New  Orleans.    22d,  run  on  a  sand-bar  and   > 
was  detained  till  next  day.     26th,  at  7  P.M.,  at  the  grand  turn 
below  Island  No.  60,  passed  nine  keel-boats,  with  Sixth'  Regi- 
ment United  States  Infantry,  commanded   by  Col.  Atkinson, 
destined  for  the  Missouri;  at  11  P.M.  took  on  board  Col.  Atkin-   | 
son  and  Miij.  Mclntosh ;  at  quarter  past  eleven  run  aground,   i 
and  lost  anchor  and  part  of  cable.     27th,  the  steamboat  Har-   \ 
riet  passed  while  at  anchor.     28th,  at  3  P.M.,  passed  steamboat 
Jefferson,  with  United  States  troops,  having  broke  her  piston  ; 
at  4  P.M.  repassed  the  steamboat  Harriet.'  " 

On  the  9th  the  same  paper  announced  that  Capt. 
Hewes,  of  the  "  St.  Louis,"  had  gratified  the  citizens 
of  St.  Louis  with  a  sail  to  the  mouth  of  the  Missouri, 

"  Last  week  Col.  Henry  Atkinson,  on  seeing  the  ferry-boats 
worked  by  wheels,  immediately  conceived  the  idea  of  applying 
them  to  the  barges  bound  up  the  Missouri  with  United  States 
troops,  stores,  etc.  In  about  three  days  he  had  one  of  the 
barges  rigged  with  wheels  and  a  trial  made,  in  which  she  was 
run  up  the  Missouri  about  two  mile?  and  back  in  thirty  min- 
utes."— Gazette,  June  30,  1819. 

1  Professor  Waterhouse. 

and  that  "  the  company  on  board  was  large  and  gen- 
teel, and  the  entertainment  very  elegant." 

The  return  of  the  "  Maid  of  Orleans,"  Capt.  Tur- 
ner, on  the  28th  of  July,  and  the  departure  of  the 
"  Yankee,"  Capt.  Hairston,  early  in  December  for 
New  Orleans,  complete  the  record  of  steamboating 
for  1819. 

About  this  time  began  the  long  and  active  career 
on  the  river  of  Capt.  John  C.  Swon,  one  of  the  best- 
known  names  in  the  steamboat  trade  of  St.  Louis. 
Capt.  Swon  was  born  in  Scott  County,  Ky.,  May  16, 
1803.  His  father  was  an  early  pioneer  from  Mary- 
land, and  a  large  land-owner  in  Kentucky.  He  died 
:  in  1814  while  locating  lands  in  St.  Francis  County, 
\  Mo.,  and  young  Swon  passed  under  the  guardianship 
of  Col.  R.  M.  Johnson,  who  had  then  lately  been 
Vice-President  of  the  United  States.  In  1819  the 
boy  sailed  up  the  Missouri  to  Council  Bluffs,  and 
was  so  infatuated  with  the  river  that  he  resolved  to 
follow  it  for  a  livelihood.  The  wild  and  romantic 
scenery  of  the  Missouri,  the  high  bluffs,  dense  forests, 
and  broad  prairies  offered  special  attractions  to  the 
eye  and  fired  his  youthful  imagination.  In  the  fol- 
lowing year  he  returned  home  and  obtained  permis- 
sion from  his  guardian  to  engage  in  the  river  trade. 

Consequently,  in  1821,  Capt.  Swon  obtained  a 
position  as  clerk  on  the  "  Calhoun,"  under  Capt.  Silas 
Craig,  and  for  two  years  was  engaged  in  the  St.  Louis 
and  Louisville  trade,  the  boat  occasionally  making  a 
trip  to  New  Orleans,  when  Swon  usually  had  charge 
of  the  vessel  himself. 

From  1823  to  1830,  Capt.  Swon  was  connected 
with  several  of  the  most  famous  boats  of  that  period, 
among  which  may  be  mentioned  the  "  Steubenville," 
"  Governor  Brown,"  and  "  America,"  under  Capt. 
Crawford  and  Capt.  Alexander  Scott. 

In  1825,  Capt.  Swon,  having  formed  an  extremely 
favorable  idea  of  the  place  from  his  frequent  visits, 
made  St.  Louis  his  permanent  home.  In  1830  he 
temporarily  left  St.  Louis  and  went  to  Pittsburgh, 
Pa.,  where,  in  company  with  Capt.  James  Wood,  of 
that  city,  he  built  the  "  Carrollton."  He  subse- 
quently took  charge  of  that  vessel,  and  ran  her  in 
the  St.  Louis  and  New  Orleans  trade.  In  1833  he 
built  the  "  Missouri,"  and  commanded  her  for  one 
season  ;  in  the  next  year  he  built  the  "  Majestic,"  in 
1835  the  "Selma,"  and  in  1837  the  "St.  Louis," 
the  largest  steamer  up  to  that  time  ever  employed  on 
the  Mississippi. 

In  1839  he  sold  the  "St.  Louis,"  and  engaged  in 
the  wholesale  grocery  business  in  St.  Louis  with  R.  A. 
Barnes,  the  firm  being  Barnes  &  Swon,  but  in  1840 
he  retired  from  the  partnership  and  resumed  his  old 



calling.  He  then  returned  to  Pittsburgh,  and  brought 
out  the  "  Missouri"  in  1841.  In  August  of  that  year 
the  boat  was  destroyed  by  fire  while  lying  at  the 
wharf  at  St.  Louis.  Undaunted,  however,  Capt.  Swon 
went  to  Louisville,  and  purchased  the  "  Alexander 
Scott"  in  1842,  and  managed  her  until  1845,  when 
he  sold  her,  and  purchased  an  interest  in  the  "  J.  M. 
White,"  which  vessel  he  commanded  until  1847, 
when  he  sold  her,  and  proceeded  to  comply  with  a 
resolution,  formed  on  account  of  family  reasons,  to 
build  just  one  more  boat  and  then  leave  the  river. 
He  contracted  for  the  "  Aleck  Scott,"  and  launched 
her  in  March,  1848,  for  the  Missouri  trade.  Both 
the  "  Alexander  Scott"  (previously  mentioned)  and 
the  "  Aleck  Scott"  were  named  in  honor  of  one  of 
young  Swon's  earliest  captains,  Alexander  Scott,  one 
of  the  best  known  river-men  of  that  period.  Capt. 
Swon  commanded  the  "  Aleck  Scott"  until  July,  1854, 
when  he  sold  her  and  retired  from  the  river,  thus 
ending  a  long,  active,  and  useful  career,  devoted  to  the 
development  of  the  river  interests  of  Missouri. 

In  1857  he  purchased  a  beautiful  place  at  Webster 
Station,  on  the  Missouri  Pacific,  and  lived  there  sev- 
eral years  in  rural  quiet.  In  1867-68  he  disposed  of 
it  and  visited  Europe.  Upon  his  return  he  settled 
in  St.  Louis,  where  he  has  continued  to  reside,  enjoy- 
ing in  well- earned  ease  the  fruits  of  a  more  than 
usually  industrious  manhood. 

Capt.  Swon  has  been  twice  married.  His  first  wife, 
whom  he  married  in  1830,  was  Anna  Kennett,  sister 
of  L.  M.  Kennett,  ex-mayor  of  St.  Louis.  Of  this 
union  two  children  were  born,  who  are  now  dead. 
After  three  years  of  singularly  happy  married  life 
Mrs.  Swon  died,  and  Capt.  Swon  married  Miss  Ken- 
nett, a  cousin  of  his  first  wife.  This  lady  died  in  the 
spring  of  1882,  leaving  no  living  children. 

Capt.  Swon  was  chosen  superintendent  of  the  Ohio 
and  Mississippi  Railroad  in  the  early  stages  of  that 
enterprise,  but  did  not  accept  the  position.  He  is  a 
director  in  the  Hope  Mining  Company,  his  only  busi- 
ness connection,  although  he  has  been  solicited  to 
assist  numerous  enterprises.  He  has  taken  a  lively 
interest  in  the  problems  of  transportation  which  St. 
Louis  has  had  to  grapple  with,  and  cherishes  an 
honest  pride  in  his  own  labors  in  that  direction, 
having  done  probably  as  much  as  any  one  man  to  de- 
velop the  river  and  steamboat  interests  of  the  city 
and  State.  Well  preserved  and  wonderfully  fresh  for 
a  man  over  eighty  years  of  age,  he  remains  one  of  the 
few  survivors  of  the  adventurous  class  of  steamboat- 
men  who  aided  so  largely  in  building  up  the  river 
commerce  of  the  Mississippi  valley. 

The  first  steamboat  that  ascended  the  upper  Mis- 

sissippi was  the  "  Virginia,"  which  arrived  at  Fort 
Snelling  in  May,  1823.  The  Missouri  and  upper 
Mississippi  had  now  been  opened  to  regular  naviga- 
tion, and  the  steamboat  traffic  of  the  great  river  and 
its  tributaries  developed  rapidly.  On  the  27th  of 

j  August,  1825,  the  Republican  announced  that  there 
were  two  steamboats,  the  "  Brown"  and  "  Magnet," 
now  lying  here  for  the  purpose  of  repairing,  and 
added,  "  We  believe  this  is  the  first  instance  of  a 

;  steamboat's  remaining  here  through  the  season  of 
low  water."  The  expansion  of  the  steamboat  busi- 
ness continued  without  interruption,  and  in  its  issue 
of  April  19,  1827,  the  Republican  commented  upon 

i  it  as  follows  : 

"  During  the  past  week  our  wharf  has  exhibited  a  greater 

1   show  of  business  than  we  recollect  to  have  ever   before  seen, 

j   and  the  number  of  steam  and  other  boats  arriving  and  depart- 

i   ing   has   been   unprecedented.     The  immense  trade  which   has 

opened   between    this   place  and   Fevre  River  at  the  present 

employs,  besides  a  number  of  keels,  six  steamboats,  to  wit: 

the     'Indiana,'     'Shamrock,'      'Hamilton,'      'Muskingum,' 

'  Mexico'   and  '  Mechanic.'     The  '  Indiana'   and  '  Shamrock' 

on  their  return  trips  have  been   deeply  freighted  with   lead, 

and  several  keel-boats  likewise  have  arrived  with  the   same 

article.      Judging   from   the  thousands   of   people  who   have 

gone  this  spring  to  make  their  fortunes  at  the  lead-mines,  we 

should  suppose  that  the  quantity  of  lead  produced  this  year 

will  be  tenfold  greater  than  heretofore." 

Again,  on  the  12th  of  July,  the  same  paper  re- 
marked that  it  must  be  gratifying  to  every  citizen  of 
St.  Louis  to  witness  the  steady  advancement  of  the 
town,  "  the  number  of  steamboats  that  have  arrived 
and  departed  during  the  spring"  being  cited  as  "  the 
;  best  evidence  of  the  increase  of  business."  During 
I  1832  there  were  eighty  arrivals  of  steamboats  at 
St.  Louis,  whose  aggregate  tonnage  amounted  to 
9520  tons.  In  1834  the  number  of  steamboats  on 
the  Mississippi  and  its  tributaries  was  230,  their  ton- 
nage aggregating  39,000  tons.  There  were  also 
1,426,000  feet  of  plank,  joists  and  scantling,  1,628,- 
000  shingles,  15,000  rails,  1700  cedar  logs,  8946 
cords  of  wood,  and  95,250  bushels  of  coal  landed 
from  the  boats,  together  with  12,195  barrels  and 
sixty  half-barrels  of  flour,  463  barrels  and  twenty 
half-barrels  of  pork,  and  233  barrels  and  fifty  half- 
barrels  of  beef. 

In  1836  the  "  Champion,"  Capt.  Mix,  performed 
the  trip  from  Vicksburg  to  Pittsburgh,  and  thence  to 
St.  Louis,  in  seven  days'  running  time ;  and  between 
St.  Louis  and  Louisville  in  fifty  hours,  "  passing  the 
'  Paul  Jones'  and  several  other  boats  with  ease." 
She  was  beaten,  however,  in  June  of  that  year  by 
the  "  Paul  Jones."  In  announcing  this  fact  the  Re- 
publican stated  that  the  captain  of  the  "  Champion" 
(which  was  an  Eastern-built  boat)  "  acknowledges 



his  inability  to  go  ahead  of  our  Western  boats,"  and 
that  he  would  shortly  start  with  his  boat  for  the  At- 
lantic cities  via  New  Orleans. 

During  the  same  month  seventy-six  different 
steamboats  arrived  at  St.  Louis,  the  aggregate  ton- 
nage of  which  was  10,774,  the  number  of  entries 
being  146,  and  the  wharfage  $930.  The  same  ac- 
tivity continued  in  1837,  and  the  Republican  notes 
the  presence  of  thirty-three  steamboats  receiving  and 
discharging  cargo  on  one  day  in  April,  1837. 

The  steamboat  "  North  St.  Louis"  was  launched  on 
the  29th  of  March,  1837,  from  the  yard  of  Messrs. 
Thomas  &  Green.  This  boat  was  said  to  have  been 
a  "  splendid  specimen  of  the  enterprise,  the  genius, 
and  the  art  of  our  Western  citizens,"  and  was  regarded 
as  "  the  finest  boat  which  has  ever  floated  upon  the 
Mississippi."  * 

On  the  10th  of  October,  1838,  the  subject  of  es- 
tablishing a  steamship  line  from  St.  Louis  to  Eastern 
cities  was  considered  at  a  meeting  of  merchants  at 
the  Merchants'  Exchange.  John  Smith  was  ap- 
pointed chairman,  and  A.  G.  Farwell  secretary. 

The  object  of  the  meeting  having  been  stated  by 
the  chair,  it  was  on  motion  ordered  that  a  committee 
of  five  persons  be  appointed  to  prepare  resolutions  for 
the  action  of  the  meeting.  The  chair  appointed 
Messrs.  D.  L.  Holbrook,  N.  E.  Janney,  A.  B.  Cham- 
bers, A.  G.  Farwell,  and  R.  M.  Strother  as  this  com- 

After  a  short  absence  the  committee  returned  and 
reported  the  following : 

"  Resoh-ed,  That  the  establishment  of  a  line  of  steamships 
from  some  Eastern  port  or  ports  to  this  city  is  a  subject  of  deep 
interest  to  the  citizens  of  St.  Louis,  and  that  in  the  opinion  of 
this  meeting  it  is  expedient. 

"  Ecuolced,  That  a  committee  of  persons  be  appointed  to 
correspond  with  such  individuals  in  the  Eastern  cities,  and  with 
such  other  persons  as  they  may  deem  proper  upon  the  subject, 
and  that  they  be  requested  to  put  themselves  in  possession  of 
as  many  facts  connected  with  the  proposed  enterprise  as  pos- 
sible, and  that  they  report  at  as  early  an  adjourned  meeting  as 

"  Kenolred,  That  a  committee  of  persons  be  appointed  to 
collect  facts  and  statistics  relating  to  the  import  and  export 
trade  of  St.  Louis,  and  the  necessity  of  opening  a  direct  trade 
with  the  Eastern  ports,  its  profits  and  utility,  and  report  at  an 
adjourned  meeting." 

The  question  being  upon  the  adoption  of  the  first 
resolution,  Messrs.  N.  Ranney,  A.  B.  Chambers,  R. 
M.  Strother,  N.  E.  Janney,  John  F.  Hunt,  and  the 
chairman  severally  addressed  the  meeting,  after  which 
the  resolutions  were  unanimously  adopted. 

On   motion   it  was  ordered  that  the  blank  in  the 

1  The  death  of  Joseph  Bates,  captain  of  the  steamboat 
ville,"  occurred  on  the  :">th  of  April,  1837. 

;  Boon- 

second  resolution  be  filled  with  "  five,"  and  that  in 
third  resolution  be  filled  with  "fifteen,"  whereupon 
the  chair  appointed  Messrs.  A.  G.  Farwell,  A.  B. 
Chambers,  Hezekiah  King,  J.  B.  Camden,  and  E. 
Bredell  the  committee  under  the  second  resolution, 
and  Messrs.  Adam  B.  Chambers,  N.  E.  Janney,  D.  L. 
Holbrook,  Reuben  M.  Strother,  William  Glasgow,  H. 
Von  Phul,  E.  H.  Beebe,  John  F.  Hunt,  N.  Ranney, 
Edward  Walsh,  G.  K.  McGunnegle,  J.  0.  Agnew, 
B.  Clapp,  E.  Tracy,  and  0.  Rhodes  the  committee 
under  the  third  resolution. 

On  motion  of  Capt.  N.  Ranney,  John  Smith  was 
added  to  the  first  committee  as  chairman. 

The  steamboat  and  lumber  register  for  1838  shows 
the  number  of  steamers  which  entered  the  port  of  St. 
Louis  during  the  year  to  have  been  154,  and  the  ag- 
gregate tonnage  22,752  ;  the  number  of  entries,  1014  ; 
and  the  wharfage  collected,  $7279.84. 

The  steamboat  "  Ottawa"  was  the  first  boat  built 
on  the  Illinois.  She  was  constructed  in  part  at  Ot- 
tawa, added  to  at  Peru,  and  finished  at  St.  Louis. 
She  was  of  the  very  lightest  draught,  seventeen  inches 
light,  and  had  a  powerful  engine,  the  design  being  to 
take  two  keels  in  tow  in  low  water,  the  steamer  her- 
self being  light ;  so  that  whenever  there  were  seven- 
teen inches  of  water  on  the  bars,  she  would-be  able 
to  reach  St.  Louis  with  one  hundred  tons  of  freight 
weekly.  Her  length  was  one  hundred  feet,  breadth 
twenty,  and  the  cabin  was  laid  off  entirely  in  state- 
rooms. The  owners  resided  in  Ottawa. 

In  1840  the  number  of  steamboats  on  the  Mississippi 
and  its  tributaries  was  two  hundred  and  eighty-five, 
with  an  aggregate  tonnage  of  forty-nine  thousand  eight 
hundred  tons. 

The  steamboat  "  Missouri,"  then  the  longest  boat 
on  Western  waters,  visited  St.  Louis  about  the  1st  of 
April,  1841.  Her  length  was  two  hundred  and  thirty- 
three  feet,  the  width  of  her  hull  was  thirty  feet,  and 
her  entire  breadth,  guards  included,  fifty-nine  feet. 
The  depth  of  her  hold  was  eight  and  a  half  feet,  and 
this  was  the  quantity  of  water  she  drew  when  fully 
loaded.  Her  light  draught  was  five  feet  four  inches. 
The  diameter  of  her  wheels  was  thirty-two  feet,  and 
the  length  of  buckets  twelve  feet.  Her  cylinders 
were  twenty-six  inches  in  diameter,  with  a  twelve-foot 
stroke.  She  had  two  engines  and  seven  forty-two-inch 
boilers.  She  was  steered  by  chains,  and  was  well  fur- 
nished with  hose  and  other  apparatus  for  the  extin- 
guishment of  fires. 

The  "  Missouri"  carried  six  hundred  tons,  and  was 
built  at  Pittsburgh  for  and  under  the  direction  of 
Capt.  J.  C.  Swon,  of  St.  Louis,  at  a  cost  of  forty-five 
thousand  dollars. 



She  was  intended  as  a  regular  trader  between  St. 
Louis  and  New  Orleans,  but,  as  heretofore  stated,  was 
burned  at  St.  Louis  in  August,  1841. 

In  1842  two  boat-yards  for  the  construction  of 
steamboats  and  other  river-craft  were  in  existence 
in  St.  Louis,  and  during  this  year  the  number  of 
steamboats  on  the  Mississippi  and  its  tributaries  was 
four  hundred  and  fifty,  with  an  aggregate  tonnage  of 
about  ninety  thousand  tons.1 

In  1843  the  number  was  six  hundred  and  seventy- 
two,  with  an  aggregate  tonnage  of  one  hundred  and 
thirty-four  thousand  four  hundred,  and  in  addition 
to  the  steamers  there  were  about  four  thousand  flats 
and  keels.  For  the  year  1844  the  enrolled  and  licensed 
tonnage  of  Western  rivers  amounted  to  one  hundred 
and  forty-four  thousand  one  hundred  and  fifty  tons. 
Messrs.  Harvey,  Premeau  &  Co.,  under  the  style  of 
the  St.  Louis  Fur  Company,  chartered  the  steamer  j 
"  Clermont,  No.  2,"  D.  G.  Taylor  commander,  in 
Jnne,  1846,  and  the  boat  sailed  for  the  head-waters  | 
of  the  Missouri  on  the  7th  to  trade  with  Sioux  and 
Blackfeet  Indians.  The  improvements  in  the  con-  [ 
struction  of  steamboats  had  been  such  that  the  time 
consumed  in  the  voyage  from  New  Orleans  to  St. 
Louis,  which  in  early  days  had  occupied  weeks,  had 
in  1844  been  reduced  to  a  few  days.  On  the  9th  of 
May,  1844,  the  Republican  made  the  following  an- 
nouncement : 

"  What  has  heretofore  been  merely  the  speculation  of  enthu- 
siasts has  been  realized.  New  Orleans  has  been  brought  within 
less  than  four  days'  travel  of  St.  Louis, — in  immediate  neighbor- 
hood propinquity.  The  steamboat  '  J.  M.  White'  has  been  the 
first  to  accomplish  this  extraordinary  trip. 

"  The  '  J.  M.  White'  left  this  port  on  Monday,  April  29th,  at 
three  o'clock  P.M.,  with  six  hundred  tons  of  freight,  and  arrived 
at  Xew  Orleans  on  Friday  evening,  the  3d  inst.,  being  three 
days  and  sixteen  hours  on  her  downward  trip.  She  departed 
for  St.  Louis  on  Saturday,  May  4,  1844,  at  forty  minutes  after 
five  o'clock  P.M.,  and  arrived  on  the  8th,  having  made  the  trip  up 
in  three  days  and  twenty-three  hours,  and  having  been  but  nine 
days  on  the  voyage  out  and  home,  including  all  detention. 

"  The  following  are  the  runs  up  from  wharf  to  wharf,  the 
best  time  ever  made  by  any  steamboat  on  the  Western  waters . 
"From  New  Orleans  to  Natchez,  300  miles,  20  h.  40  m. 
"         "         "        Vicksburg,  410  miles,  29  h.  55  m. 
"         "        "         Montgomery's,  625  miles,  1  day  13  h. 

8  m. 

"  "  "  Memphis,  775  miles,  2  days  12  h.  8m. 
"  "  "  Cairo,  1000  miles,  3  days  6  h.  44  m. 
"  "  "  St.  Louis,  1200  miles,  3  days  23  h.  9m." 

One  of  the  leading  steamboat  men  of  St.  Louis 
about  this  time  was  Capt.  W.  W.  Greene.  William 
Wallace  Greene  was  born  in  Marietta,  Ohio,  in  1798. 
His  father,  Charles  Greene,  was  of  the  Rhode  Island 

1  Elliot  R.  Hopkins,  collector  of  the  port,  died  on  the  18th  of 
September,  1842. 

family  of  Greenes  which  furnished  the  country  one  of 
its  most  successful  Revolutionary  generals.  He  was 
a  merchant  in  Marietta  from  1796  to  1812,  and  also 
engaged  in  the  building  of  ships  on  a  large  scale  for 
those  days,  constructing  three  ships,  two  or  three 
brigs,  and  several  schooners,  which  he  owned  in  con- 
nection with  R.  J.  Meigs,  Col.  Lord,  and  Benjamin 
Ives  Gilman,  prominent  men  of  that  period.  Charles 
Greene's  wife  was  Elizabeth  Wallace,  of  Philadelphia. 
From  these  parents  William  Wallace  Greene  inher- 
ited sterling  qualities  of  heart  and  mind  and  elevated 
religious  principles.  Reverses  in  the  large  shipping 
interests  of  his  father  threw  him  early  in  life  upon  his 
own  resources,  and  with  no  capital  save  energy,  a  good 
character,  sound  common  sense,  and  a  fair  education, 
he  left  home  for  busier  and  more  promising  fields. 
He  first  went  to  Dayton,  Ohio,  where  for  seven  years 
he  was  employed  in  the  general  merchandise  estab- 
lishment of  his  cousins,  Steele  &  Pierce.  He  then 
removed  to  Louisville,  Ky.,  and  New  Albany,  Ind., 
continuing  in  the  mercantile  business  until  1820, 
when  he  engaged  as  clerk  on  the  steamboat  "  Ohio," 
running  in  the  New  Orleans  trade,  and  for  two  years 
was  employed  on  the  river.  In  1822  he  again  em- 
barked in  mercantile  pursuits  at  Hamilton,  Ohio. 

In  the  following  year  he  removed  to  Cincinnati  and 
commenced  business  as  a  commission  and  forwarding 
merchant.  Soon  after,  in  connection  with  his  brother 
Robert,  he  built  the  low-pressure  steamer  "  De  Witt 
Clinton,"  the  fastest  boat  of  her  day  on  the  Western 
waters.  When  finished  he  took  command  of  her,  but 
soon  resigned  her  to  his  uncle,  Maj.  Robert  Wallace, 
of  Louisville,  Ky.  The  Greene  brothers  then  built 
the  low-pressure  steamers  "  Native"  and  "  Fairy,"  and 
followed  in  quick  succession  with  others,  until  they 
owned  a  large  flotilla  of  very  fine  and  fast  boats,  some 
engaged  in  the  Cincinnati  and  Louisville  trade,  others 
in  the  Cincinnati  trade,  and  still  others  in  the  Ar- 
kansas, Missouri,  and  Illinois  Rivers.  Capt.  W.  W. 
Greene  commanded  several  of  these  vessels,  and  was 
as  well  and  favorably  known  as  any  officer  who  navi- 
gated the  great  rivers  of  the  West.  In  1832-33  he 
commanded  the  high-pressure  steamer  "  Superior," 
employed  in  the  Cincinnati  and  New  Orleans  trade. 

In  1834,  Capt.  Greene,  in  connection  with  his  bro- 
ther-in-law, Capt.  Joseph  Conn,  built  the  "  Cygnet," 
with  vibrating  cylinders ;  and  while  running  this 
boat  they  removed  to  St.  Louis  and  made  that  city 
their  residence  and  base  of  operations.  Greene  was 
captain,  and  Conn  was  clerk  ;  and  so  officered,  the 
"  Cygnet"  for  several  years  did  a  prosperous  business 
on  the  Mississippi,  Arkansas,  and  Illinois  Rivers. 
In  1837,  Capts.  Greene  and  Conn  sold  the  "  Cygnet," 






and,  in  connection  with  James  R.  Sprigg,  engaged  in 
the  auction  and  commission  business  under  the  firm- 
name  of  Conn,  Sprigg  &  Greene  (a  partnership  easily 
recalled  by  many  of  the  older  citizens  and  one  of  the 
leading  houses  of  that  period).  The  firm  was  also  at 
times  interested  as  part  owner  in  the  steamers  "  Cas- 
pian," "  Vandalia,"  "  Oregon,"  and  "  Osage,"  all  em- 
ployed in  the  St.  Louis  and  New  Orleans  trade. 

Capt.  Greene  enjoyed  in  a  marked  degree  the  con- 
fidence of  the  community.  In  1842  (Bernard  Pratte 
being  mayor)  he  was  appointed  harbor-master;  in  1845, 
local  agent  of  the  Post-Office  Department ;  and  in  1849 
surveyor  and  collector  of  the  port  of  St.  Louis,  which 
office  he  resigned  in  1853  to  accept  the  presidency  of 
the  Globe  Mutual  Insurance  Company,  to  which  he 
was  annually  elected  for  many  years.  All  who  knew 
him  will  remember  with  what  unfailing  urbanity  and 
fidelity  he  discharged  these  important  public  trusts. 

In  1827,  Capt.  Greene  was  married  to  Sarah  A. 
Conn,  daughter  of  an  old  and  well-known  citizen  of 
Cincinnati.  He  died  April  16,  1873,  leaving  two 

Capt.  Greene  was  an  honored,  consistent,  and  use- 
ful member  of  the  Presbyterian  Church.  For  many 
years  he  was  a  ruling  elder,  and  brought  to  the  duties 
of  that  office  the  zeal  and  fidelity  which  he  always 
exhibited  in  his  secular  employments.  In  all  the 
relations  of  life,  in  fact,  Capt.  Greene  was  a  man  of 
the  strictest  rectitude,  untiring  energy,  and  ready  gen- 
erosity. His  death  was  that  of  the  resigned  and  hope- 
ful Christian,  weary,  however,  under  the  accumulated 
burdens  of  years. 

The  following  resume  of  steamboating  at  St.  Louis 
is  from  the  Republican  of  Jan.  5,  1847  : 

"  During  the  year  1845  there  were  213  steamboats  engaged 
in  the  trade  of  St.  Louis,  with  an  aggregate  tonnage  of  42,922 
tons,  and  2050  steamboat  arrivals,  with  an  aggregate  tonnage 
of  358,045  tons,  to  which  may  be  added  346  keel-  and  flat-boats. 
During  the  year  1846  there  were  251  steamboats,  having  an 
aggregate  tonnage  of  53,867  tons,  engaged  in  the  St.  Louis  com- 
merce. These  boats  made  2411  trips  to  our  port,  making  an 
aggregate  tonnage  of  407,824  tons.  In  the  same  year  there 
were  881  keel-  and  flat-boat  arrivals. 

"  To  exhibit  the  time  of  their  arrival,  and  their  tonnage,  and 
to  show  at  what  period  the  heaviest  portion  of  our  commerce  is 
carried  on,  we  subjoin  a  statement  of  the  arrivals  for  each 
month : 

Arrived.  Steamers.    Tonnage.     ^K^efs"*1 

January 53  8,917  6 

February 152         26,111  35 

March 158         31,580  22 

April 195         49,334          44 

May 372         78,124  68 

June 295         60,043  38 

July 193         46,554  68 

August 211         37,553  75 

September 171         28,331  72 

October 237         37,538         162 

November 185         31,346         171 

December 190         32,393         120 

"The  trade  in  St.  Louis  in  1846  employed,  as  we  have  stated, 
251  boats,  of  an  aggregate  tonnage  of  53,867  tons.  If  we  esti- 
mate the  cost  of  these  boats  at  $50  per  ton,  which  is  below  the 
true  average,  we  have  an  investment  in  the  shipping  of  this  city 
of  $2,693,350;  and  if  we  allow  an  average  of  25  persons,  in- 
cluding all  those  employed  directly  upon  the  boat,  to  each  vessel, 
we  have  a  total  of  6275  persons  engaged  in  their  navigation. 
Add  to  these  the  owners,  workmen,  builders,  agents,  shippers, 
and  all  those  connected  or  interested  in  this  commerce,  from  the 
time  the  timber  is  taken  from  the  forest  or  the  ore  from  the 
mine,  arid  the  list  will  be  swelled  to  many  thousands." 

The  number  of  enrolled  and  licensed  steamboats  on 
Western  rivers  in  1845  was  789,  with  an  aggregate 
tonnage  of  159,713  tons. 

The  steamers  running  on  the  upper  Mississippi 
from  1823  to  1844  were  used  mainly  to  transport 
supplies  for  the  Indian  traders  and  the  troops  stationed 
at  Fort  Snelling.  Previous  to  the  arrival  of  the 
"  Virginia"  at  Fort  Snelling  in  May,  1823,  keel-boats 
were  used  for  this  trade,  and  sixty  days  from  St. 
Louis  to  Fort  Snelling  was  considered  a  good  trip. 

The  report  of  the  Secretary  of  the  Treasury  for  1846 
makes  the  following  exhibit  of  enrolled  and  licensed 
tonnage  of  the  West:  New  Orleans,  180,504.81 ;  St. 
Louis,  22,425.92  ;  Pittsburgh,  17,162.94;  Cincinnati, 
15,312.86  ;  Louisville,  8172.26 ;  Nashville,  2809.23 ; 
Wheeling,  2666.76;  total,  249,054.77  tons.  Apply- 
ing to  this  volume  of  tonnage  the  average  of  210 
tons  to  a  steamboat,  there  were  1190  employed  on 
Western  rivers,  which  at  $65  per  ton  cost  816,188,561. 
Supposing  these  boats  to  run  220  days  in  a  year  at  a 
cost  of  $125  per  day,  their  annual  expense  amounted 
to  $32,725,000,  and  they  employed  41 ,650  persons. 
The  cost  of  the  river  transportation  in  1846  was  esti- 
mated at$41,154,194.1 

The  rapid  increase  of  the  steamboating  interest  of 
St.  Louis  is  thus  set  forth  in  the  Republican  of  the 
27th  of  January,  1848  : 

"  In  no  department  of  business  has  the  rapid  growth  of  St. 
Louis  as  a  commercial  port  been  made  so  undeniably  manifest 
as  in  her  shipping  by  means  of  steamboats.  The  first  steam- 
boat arrival  at  St.  Louis  was  in  1817.  At  that  time  the  whole 
commerce  of  New  Orleans  was  carried  on  by  about  twenty  barges 
of  one  hundred  tons  each,  and  one  hundred  and  sixty  keel-  and 
flat-boats  of  about  thirty  tons  each,  making  a  total  tonnage  of 
from  six  thousand  to  seven  thousand  tons.  In  1834  the  whole 
number  of  steamboats  on  the  Mississippi  and  its  tributaries  was 
two  hundred  and  thirty,  with  a  total  tonnage  of  thirty-nine 
thousand  tons.  In  1840  the  number  was  two  hundred  and 
eighty-five,  with  a  tonnage  of  forty-nine  thousand  eight  hun- 
dred. In  1842  the  number  was  four  hundred'  and  fifty,  with  a 
tonnage  of  about  ninety  thousand  tons.  In  1843  the  number 
rose  to  six  hundred  and  seventy-two,  with  a  tonnage  of  one 
hundred  and  thirty-four  thousand  four  hundred.  In  1846,  by 
reference  to  the  report  of  the  Secretary  of  the  Treasury  of  the 

1  The  Commerce  and  Navigation  of  the  Valley  of  the  Missis- 
sippi, p.  7. 



licensed  and  enrolled  steamboat  tonnage,  the  number  is  stated 
at  eleven  hundred  and  ninety,  with  a  tonnage  of  two  hundred 
and  forty-nine  thousand  and  fifty-four  tons. 

"In  1839  there  were  one  thousand  four  hundred  and  seventy- 
six  steamboat  arrivals  at  this  port,  with  a  total  tonnage  of 
two  hundred  and  thirteen  thousand  one  hundred  and  ninety- 
three  tons.  In  1840  there  were  seventeen  hundred  and  twenty- 
one  arrivals  ;  tonnage,  two  hundred  and  forty-four  thousand 
one  hundred  and  eighty-six.  In  18-44  there  were  two  thou- 
sand one  hundred  and  five  arrivals;  tonnage,  four  hundred 
and  sixty-seven  thousand  eight  hundred  and  twenty-four.  In 
eight  years,  from  1839  to  the  end  of  1847,  the  number  of  steam- 
boat arrivals  and  the  aggregate  tonnage  have  more  than  doubled. 
The  arrivals  in  1847  exceed  those  of  1839  by  four  hundred  and 
eighty-nine,  and  the  tonnage  by  three  hundred  and  seventy-one 
thousand  four  hundred  and  forty -six  tons."1 

In  1851  three  steamboats  went  up  the  Minnesota 
River,  and  in  1852  one  boat  ran  regularly  up  that 
river  during  the  season.  In  1853  the  business  re- 
quired an  average  of  one  boat  per  day.  In  1854  the 
trade  had  largely  increased,  and  in  1855  the  arrivals 
of  steamers  from  the  Minnesota  numbered  119. 

In  1852  the  novel  application  of  the  steamboat  to 
the  purposes  of  a  circus  was  made  by  Capt.  Jack, 
well  known  to  thousands  of  the  "  old-timers"  in  the 
Mississippi  valley  from  his  long  connection  with  the 
show  business.  In  that  year  he  was  engaged  in  build- 
ing at  Cincinnati  the  great  "  Floating  Palace"  for 
Spalding  &  Rogers'  circus,  among  the  oldest  and  most 
successful  managers  in  that  line  in  the  United  States. 
Capt.  Jack  purchased  an  interest  in  the  floating  palace, 
and  began  his  career  as  a  showman  at  Pittsburgh. 
The  boat  carried  an  amphitheatre,  in  which  the  eques- 
trian performances  took  place,  which  was  capable  of 
seating  one  thousand  persons.  From  Pittsburgh  they 
descended  the  Ohio  and  Mississippi  to  New  Or- 
leans, giving  exhibitions  at  all  places  along  the  banks. 
From  New  Orleans  they  steamed  across  the  gulf  to 
Mobile,  and  from  Mobile  the  palace  ascended  the 
Alabama  River  to  the  head  of  navigation  at  Wetunka, 
and,  returning,  went  up  the  Black  Warrior  to  Colum- 
bia. Returning  to  Mobile  and  New  Orleans,  they 
started  on  the  spring  campaign  up  the  Mississippi, 
and,  arriving  at  St.  Louis,  exhibited  at  the  foot  of 
Poplar  Street  to  an  audience  of  twenty-five  hundred 
people  for  three  days.  The  crowd  was  so  immense 
that  they  charged  one  dollar  "  permission,"  instead  of 
admission  tickets,  to  those  who  were  unable  to  get  in, 
for  the  privilege  of  looking  in  at  the  windows.  G. 
R.  Spalding  was  the  manager  of  the  concern,  and  Mr. 
Van  Norton  the  general  agent.  The  palace  continued 

to  exhibit  successfully  along  the  Mississippi,  Missouri, 
and  Ohio  Rivers  until  1860,  when  the  boat  was 
beached  in  New  Orleans.  Capt.  Jack  then  engaged 
on  the  "  Banjo"  with  a  French  Zouave  troupe,  which 
exhibited  on  all  the  principal  tributaries  of  the  lower 
Mississippi,  up  the  Red  River,  the  Cache,  La  Fourche, 
and  Atchafalaya,  and  on  the  Mississippi  at  Fort 
Adams.  On  the  19th  of  July,  1862,  they  entered 
the  boundaries  of  the  Southern  Confederacy,  and 
at  New  Iberia  and  Franklin,  La.,  gave  shows  for 
the  benefit  of  the  soldiers  of  the  Confederate  States. 
In  1862,  Spalding  &  Rogers  organized  their  outfit 
for  South  America.  Mr.  Spalding  offered  Capt.  Jack 
an  interest  in  the  venture,  advising  him  at  the  same 
time  that  it  was  hazardous.  "  You,"  said  Mr.  Spald- 
ing, "  are  now  well  fixed,  and  may  lose  all,  but  if  we 
lose  all  we  can  stand  it."  Capt.  Jack  went  into  busi- 
ness for  himself,  and  lost  largely  in  Confederate  cur- 
rency, but  came  out  finally  very  successful.  He  was 
from  Ohio,  and  arrived  in  St.  Louis  in  1849  with  but 
one  dollar  in  his  pocket.  Spalding  &  Rogers  returned 
from  their  South  American  venture  in  1866,  having 
made  money.  They  returned  with  all  their  company 
except  one  lady,  who  died  on  the  trip.  Capt.  Jack 
owed  his  success  in  life  to  his  former  employe,  Gr.  R. 
Spalding,  who  died  in  New  Orleans  in  February, 
1880.  Mrs.  Spalding  died  six  months  afterwards, 
leaving  Charles  Spalding,  of  St.  Louis,  who  was  their 
only  living  son,  as  their  heir. 

During  the  season  of  1856  trade  upon  the  Missis- 
sippi was  very  prosperous,  and  the  arrivals  at  St.  Paul 
exhibited  an  increase  over  any  previous  year,  notwith- 
standing the  season  of  navigation  was  much  shorter 
than  that  of  the  year  before.2 

In  the  year  1870s  the  most  remarkable  event  which 

1  Capt.  Alfred  Rodgers,  formerly  a  commander  of  one  of  the 
finest  steamboats  on  the  river,  and  for  the  last  year  or  eigh- 
teen months  of  his  life  engaged  in  the  commission  and  produce 
business  in  St.  Louis,  died  on  the  13th  of  June,  1849. 

1  In  July,  1857,  the  steamer  "  Louisiana,"  commanded  by 
Capt.  J.  Harry  Johnson,  with  S.  D.  Bradley,  clerk,  and  Capt.- 
D.  R.  Asbury,  pilot;  Joseph  Brennan,  engineer;  and  Hugh 
Maney,  mate,  fired  her  gun  from  a  point  between  the  shot- 
tower  and  water-works  at  eight  minutes  after  four  o'clock  A.M., 
and  arrived  at  Keokuk,  a  distance  of  two  hundred  and  forty 
miles,  making  the  run  all  the  way  against  a  swift  current,  by 
eight  o'clock  and  sixteen  minutes  P.M.,  in  sixteen  hours  and 
eight  minutes.  On  her  memorable  run  the  "  Louisiana"  landed 
at  Hannibal,  and  lost  some  twenty-four  minutes.  She  beat  the 
fastest  time  ever  before  made,  that  of  the  "  Hannibal  City," 
forty-one  minute?. 

"The  "  Jennie  Bonnie,"  a  little  yacht  commanded  by  Capt. 
Carpenter,  arrived  at  St.  Louis  June  14,  1870,  from  New 
Orleans,  in  tow  of  the  "  Mary  Alice."  Capt.  Carpenter  had 
started  over  a  year  previously  from  the  coast  of  Maine,  and  had 
made  a  voyage  of  over  twenty-six  thousand  miles,  including 
the  survey  of  harbors  and  inlets,  terminated  by  his  arrival  at 
St.  Louis.  The  crew  consisted  only  of  the  captain  and  a  com- 
panion. The  vessel  took  a  most  circuitous  route,  up  and  down 
all  the  bays  and  inlet?  of  the  Atlantic  coast,  until  her  arrival 



had  as  yet  occurred  illustrating  the  degree  of  excellence 
attained  in  the  art  of  boat-building,  was  the  celebrated 
trial  of  speed  between  the  steamers"  Robert  E.  Lee"  and 
"  Natchez,"  in  a  race  from  New  Orleans  to  St.  Louis. 
Perhaps  no  event  in  the  whole  history  of  steamboat- 
ing  on  the  Mississippi  attracted  so  much  attention. 
For  many  days  the  press  in  the  West  was  filled  with 
references  to  it,  and  many  newspapers  in  the  far  East 
esteemed  it  of  sufficient  importance  to  notice  the 
progress  of  the  two  leviathans,  not  only  by  publishing 
long  telegrams,  but  also  editorially.  The  boats  ar- 
rived at  St.  Louis  on  the  4th  of  July,  having  made 
an  unparalleled  run  of  more  than  twelve  hundred 
miles.  It  is  believed  that  not  less  than  two  hundred 
thousand  persons  witnessed  the  arrival  of  the  "  R.  E. 
Lee,"  which  was  the  first  to  reach  the  goal.1 

at  New  Orleans.  After  remaining  at  St.  Louis  a  couple  of  days 
the  "Jennie  Bonnie"  went  to  St.  Paul,  and  thence  across  the 
grand  portage  to  Lake  Superior,  through  Lakes  Huron,  Erie, 
and  Ontario  into  the  St.  Lawrence,  and  around  to  the  coast  of 
Maine  to  the  point  where  she  started  from. 

1  "  Quite  an  excitement,"  says  a  St.  Louis  journal,  "  was  created 
in  steamboat  circles  by  the  trials  of  speed  between  the  steamers 
'  R.  E.  Lee'  and '  Natchez.'  For  years  the  time  of  the '  J.  M. White' 
from  New  Orleans  to  St.  Louis  had  stood  unequaled,  and  among 
river-men  there  was  a  desire  to  know  if  any  improvement  in 
the  building  of  fast,  and  at  the  same  time  good,  business  boats 
had  been  made.  While  we  cannot  see  that  anything  was  gained 
by  the  trial,  we  place  the  time  of  each  boat  on  record  for  the 
benefit  of  those  interested. 

1844.—'  J.  M.  White's'  run  : 
From  New  Orleans  to          Miles.   Dnys.  Hours.  Min. 

Natchez 300         ..         20         40 

Vicksburg 410         1  5         55 

Montgomery  Point...  625         1         23  8 

Memphis 775         2         12  8 

Cairo 1000         3  6         44 

St.  Louis 1200         3         23  9 

1870.—'  Natchez'  time,  July,  1870  : 

From  New  Orleans  to  Days.  Hours.  Min. 

Natchez 17  52 

Vicksburg 26 

Head  of  Thresher  Field 24          4 

Napoleon 1  18  15 

White  River 1  19  30 

Helena 2  2  35 

Memphis 2  9  40 

Head  of  Island  No.  10 3  

Hickman 3  1  43 

Cairo 3  4  24 

St.  Louis 3  21  58 

1870.—'  Lee's'  time,  July,  1870  : 
From  New  Orleans  to  Days.  Hours.  Min. 


Harry's  Hill.... 

Red  Church 

Bonnet  Carre ... 
College  Point..., 


Baton   Rouge... 

Bayou  Sara 

Red  River 










Steamboat  Casualties. — Neither  the  exact  num- 
ber of  steamboats  lost  nor  a  reasonably  accurate  ap- 
proximation of  the  number  of  deaths  resulting  from 
steamboat  accidents  on  Western  waters  will  ever  be 
ascertained,  for  until  within  a  few  years  past  but  little 
effort  was  made  to  preserve  the  records  and  statistics 
of  such  disasters.  The  most  reliable  record  of  ex- 




Cole's  Creek  



Waterproof  , 








Grand  Gulf.  



Hard  Times  












Lake  Providence  












White  River  














Island  No.  37  



Island  No.  26  




Island  No.  14  , 







Island  No.  10  




Island  No.  8  

...  2 



.  Lucas'  Bend  


,  3 


St.  Louis  




"  Not  satisfied  with  the  result  of  the  trips  to  St.  Louis,  a  race 
against  time  was  arranged  for  in  October,  from  New  Orleans  to 
Natchez,  in  which  the  '  Natchez'  came  out  victorious. 

"Time  of  the  'Lee'  and  'Natchez'  from  New  Orleans  to 
Natchez,  October,  1870  : 


From  New  Orleans  to                        H.  M.  S. 

Carrollton 25  30 

Hill's 55  45 

RedChurch 1  29  45 

Bonnet  CarrS 2  27  30 

College  Point 3  29  30 

Donaldsonville 4  34  15 

Plaquemine „ 6  32  45 

Baton  Rouge 7  49  30 

Bayou  Sara 10  1  45 

Red  River 12  21  30 

Stamps' , 13  23  30 

Bryan's 15  26  .... 

Henderson's 16  8  32 

Natchez 16  51  30 

'R.  E.  LEE.' 

H.    M.  S. 

..  25  30 

..  54  15 

1  28  15 

2  22  15 

3  26  15 

4  28  15 

7  41  15 

9  53  15 

12  23  ... 

13  23  30 
13  32  ... 
16  15  40 
16  59  5 

"Capt.  Kannon  feeling  confident  his  boat  could  do  still  better, 
made  one  more  run  against  time,  and  regained  the  reputation 
of  the  '  Lee.'  The  time  was  as  follows  : 

From  New  Orleans  to                          H.  M.  S. 

Carrollton  ..........................  26  25 

Harry  Hill's..  .....................  54  43 

Red  Church  .....................      1  29  5 

Bonnet  Carre  ...................     2  25  5 

College  Point  ....................     3  28  20 

Convent  ...........................     3  37 

Donaldsonville  ..................     4  30  55 

Bayou  Goula  .....................     5  40  28 

Plaquemine  .....................     6  26  50 

Baton  Rouge  .......  ............     7  40  42 

Bayou  Sara  ......................     9  48  20 

Stamps'  ...........................  13  11  55 

Henderson's  .....................  15  55  25 

Natchez  ..............................  16  36  47" 



plosions  up  to  1871   was  made  up  by  Capt.  S.  L. 
Fisher  and   Capt.   James   McCord,  both    well-known 
citizens  of  St.  Louis  and  practical  steamboat  men.1 
This  record  begins  in  the  year  1816,  and  is  as  follows  : 


The   curious  revelation   is   made  by  these  figures 
that  there  have  been  more  explosions  of  steam-boilers 
on  Western  steamboats,  in  proportion  to  the  number 
of  boats   engaged   in   business  on    the   rivers,  since 
Congress  enacted  laws  for  the  regulation  and  guidance 
of  engineers  on  steam-vessels  ;  and  the  list  of  casual- 
ties also  shows  that  explosions  were  attended  by  more 
fatal   results  after   that    legislation    than    previously 
when   engineers  had  to  trust  entirely  to  their  skill 
and  judgment  in  the  management  of  the  engine  and 
regulating  the  pressure  in  the  boilers.    By  contrasting 
the  number  of  casualties  for  a  period  of  eighteen  years 
preceding  the  passage  of  the  law  of  1852  by  Con- 
gress with  the  number  of  casualties  for  a  period  of 
eighteen  years  subsequent  to  the  adoption   of   the 
law,  the  difference  can  be  more  readily  perceived. 
During   the   first-named   period   twenty-seven    boats 
exploded  their  boilers,  and  one  thousand  and  two 
persons  were  killed.     During  a  period  of  eighteen 
years  subsequent  to  the  passage  of  the  law  fifty-four 
boats  met  with  disaster  by  explosion,  and  three  thou- 
sand one  hundred  persons  were  killed. 
From  Jan.  1  to  Nov.  19,  1841,  the  following  boats 
engaged  in  the  St.  Louis  trade  were  lost  : 

The  Vermont  sank   between  St.  Louis    and 
the  mouth  of  the  Ohio,  valued  at  $5  000 

Year.         Name  of  Boat. 

Number  of 
Lives  Lost. 


Name  of  Boat. 

Number  of 
Lives  Lost. 

is  111     Wellington 


i  1857 

45  . 

1817     Constitution 


is-'")     Teche           

1830  i  Helen  McGregor.. 
1836     Ben  Franklin  
1836     Rob  Roy 


Buckeye  Belle  

1837     Chariton 


1837     Dubuque8    

1837     Black  Hawk  


is:;-.     Moselle  

John  Calhoun  
Sain  Gaty  

1838     Oronoco            .  ... 

1838     Gen    Brown 

Ben  Lewis  

18.38     Augusta  

H.  T.  Gilmore  

1839     George  Collier3.... 
1839     Wellington 

Ben  Sherrod  

1838     Walker  

Com.  Perry  

1840     Persia  

1844     Lucy  Waller  
1845     Elizabeth    


Isro  ... 

1845     Marquette  

Ollie  Sullivan  

1846     H.  W.  Johnston.. 
1847     Edward  Bates  
1848     Concordia  .         .. 

Ben  Levi  

1849     Virginia  


1849     Cutter  

R.  J.  Lockwood... 
W.  R.  Carter  

1849     Louisiana  

Rienzi    sank    between    St.    Louis      and 
the  mouth  of  the  Ohio  8,000 

1850     St   Joseph  

Gen.  Lytle  

1850     Anglo-Norman.... 
1850     Kate  Fleming  
1850     Knoxville  


Peoria    sank    between    St.    Louis    and 
the  mouth  of  the  Ohio  .         .        5000 



Chester   sank    between    St.    Louis    and 
the  mouth  of  the  Ohio  20  000 

1S51     Oregon  

Harry  Dean  

1852     Pocahontas  


Homer   sank    between    St.    Louis    and 
the  mouth  of  the  Ohio  6,000 

1852     Thomas  Stone  
1852     Glencoe  


City  of  Memphis.. 
David  White  

Maid    of    Orleans    sank     between     St. 
Louis  and  the  mouth  of  the  Ohio  25,000 
Oregon   sank    between    St.    Louis    and 
the  mouth  of  the  Ohio  20  000 

1852     Saluda  

1852     Franklin  

1853     Bee  

Maggie  .Hays  

1854     Kate  Kinney  
1854     Timor  

Keokuk   sank  between    St.    Louis    and 
the  mouth  of  the  Ohio  6  000 

Judge  Wheeler  
W.  R.Arthur  
Rob  Roy  

1854     Reindeer  

Wm.    Paris    sank    between     St.    Louis 
and  the  mouth  of  the  Ohio  12,000 


A.  M.  Phillips  sank  between  St.  Louis 
and  the  mouth  of  the  Ohio                    .        6  000 

New  State  

1  •*.">(!     Metropolis  

Tohula   sank    between    St.    Louis    and 
the  mouth  of  the  Ohio  15,000 

'  The  Fifth  Annual  Report  of  the  St.  Louis  Chamber  of  Com- 
merce, for  1860,  has  no  reference  to  or  mention  of  steamboat 
1  The   "  Dubuque,''  Capt.   Smoker,  was    destroyed    on    the 
Mississippi    River    while   on    her    voyage    from    St.  Louis   to 
Galena,  Aug.  15,  1837,  near  Muscatine  Bar,  eight  miles  below 
Bloomington.     The  accident  was  caused  by  the  explosion  of 
the  boiler  on  the  larboard  side,  probably  on  account  of  some 
defect  in  material  or  workmanship.     The  steamboat  "  Adven- 
ture," arriving  in  a  few  hours  after  the  explosion,  took  the 
"  Dubuque"  in  tow  to  Bloomington.     The  killed  were  John 
Littleton,  Isaac  Deal,  Felix  Pope,  Charles  Kelly,  Noah  Owen, 
Jesse   Johnson,  James    C.   Carr,  George   McMurtry,    Francis 
Pleasants,  Henry  A.  Carr,  John   C.  Hamilton,  Joseph   Brady, 
John  Boland,  Joseph  L.  Sanes,  L.  B.  Sanes,  Martin  Shough- 
nohoy,   George  Clix,   David  Francour,  and  Mrs.  M.  Shaugh- 
nessy  and  child. 
*  When   the  "  George   Collier,"  while   on   her  way,  May  6, 

U.  S.  Mail  sank  between  St.  Louis  and 
the  mouth  of  the  Ohio  15,000 

Brazil  sank  on  the  upper  Mississippi  8,000 
Caroline  sank  below  mouth  of  Ohio  35  000 

Chief  Magistrate  sank  below  mouth    of 
Ohio  15000 

Baltic  sank  below  mouth  of  Ohio  12,000 

Malta  sank  on  the  Missouri  15,000 

Missouri  burnt  at  the  wharf.  50,000 


1839,  from  New  Orleans  to  St.  Louis,  was  about  eighty  miles 
below  Natchez,  her  piston-rod  gave  way.     The  cylinder-head 
was  broken,  and  the  boiler-stand  carried  away.     The  steam 
escaping  scalded  forty-five  persons,  of  whom  twenty-six  died 
that  day,  as  follows  :  T.  J.  Spalding,  Ch.  Brooks,  William  Blake, 
C.  Herring,  Mrs.  E.  Welch  and  two  children,  S.  O'Brien  and 
wife,  S.  J.  Brogua,  John  Idida,  D.  J.  Rose,  D.  Groe,  F.  Gross, 
J.  B.  Bossuet,  P.  Smith,  Joseph  Lawrence,  Charlotte  Fletcher 
and  brother,  Bilch,  and  six  others  unknown. 



In  De  Bows  Review  a  list  of  disasters  to  steam- 
boats is  given  which,  though  made  from  "very  defec- 
tive returns,"  has  not  overdrawn  the  picture  of  death, 
ruin,  and  suffering  which  explosions,  collisions,  and 
carelessness  have  inflicted  on  the  people  of  this  coun- 
try who  traveled  on  Western  waters.  This  list  in 
the  Review  for  1849  extended  back  many  years.  It  is 

4.  Carelessness  or  ignorance  of  those  intrusted  with  the  man- 
agement of  the  boiler. 
In  this  class  : 

Racing 1 

Incompetent  engineers 2 

Old  boilers 6 

Stopping  off  water 1 

Carelessness 22 — 32 

Dates  and  Numbers  of  Explosions. 

as  follows  : 

Whole  number  of  boats  on  which  explosions  have  oc- 

1816  3 

1834  1 

1817  4 

1835  10 

1819  1 

1836  13 

1820     .                                       1 

1837                                          13 

1821  1 

1838                                          11 

Officers             "                 "                 31            57 

1822  1 

1839                                            3 

Crew                "                 "                 25            103 

1825  2 

1840  8 

Whole  number  killed                       164           1,805 

1826  3 

1841                 .                           7 

"            "         wounded                 111           1,015 

1827  2 

1842  7 

Total  amount  of  damages                 75           $997,650 

1828  1 

1843  9 

Average  number  of  passengers  killed  in  the  enumer- 

1829  4 

1844  4 

1830  12 

1845                                          11 

Average  number  of  officers  killed  in  the  enumerated 

1831  2 

1846  7 

1832                                              1 

1847                                          12 

Average  number  of   crew  killed  in  the  enumerated 

1833  5 

1848  12 

Date  given  in  177  cases  ;   not  s 
Pecuniary  loss,  233  cases,  at  $1 
Loss  of  life,  233  cases,  at  11  ea< 
Wounded,  233  cases,  at  9  each. 

ated  in  56;    total  233 

Average  number  killed  in  the  enumerated  cases  11 
Average  number  wounded  in  the  enumerated  cases....                9 

3,202  each  $3,090,366 

)h  2,563 

The  cause  is  stated  in  98  cases;  not  stated  in  125; 


Total  killed  and  wounded  


1.  Excessive  pressure,  gradually  increased,  was  the 

The  fate  of  boats  emplo 
is  traced  in  the  Western 
lows  : 

344  worn  out  or  abandonee 
238  snagged  or  otherwise  s 
68  burnt  

yed  in  the  Mississippi  trade 
Boatman  for  1848,  as  fol- 

2.  The   presence   of  unduly  heated   metals  was   the 

3    Defective  construction  was  the  cause  of.  33 

4.  Carelessness  or  ignorance  was  the  cause  of.  32 

5.  Accidental  (rolling  of  boat)  was  the  cause  of.  1 

unk                   34£       " 

Nature  of  the  Accidents. 

10         " 

17  lost  by  collision  

2}       " 

The  seventeen  boats  which 
"  Washington,"  •'  Union,"  "At 
"  Cotton  Plant,"  "  Tallyho,"  " 
"Alabama,"    "Hornet,"    "  Ka 
"Huntress,"  "  Gen.  Robinson,' 
Average   age  of  boats  worn 
Average  age  of  boats  sunk,  bu 
Boats  of  which  we  have  no 
the  accounts  obtained. 
Built  in  Pittsburgh  distric 
"      Cincinnati         " 
"      Louisville         " 
"      Nashville          " 
"      other  places  

lad  their  boilers  burst  were  the 
as,"  "  Caledonia,"  "  Porpoise," 
Tricolor,"  "  Car  of  Commerce," 
nawha,"    "  Helen    McGregor," 
"Arkansas,"  and  "Teche." 
out   or   abandoned,  five  yeara 

rnt,  or  otherwise  lost,  four  years 
dates  of  loss  are  calculated  by 

t  304. 

Burstin"1  steam-chests  ,  1 

Bolt  and  boiler  forced  out  1 

Blew  out  boiler-head  4 

Not  stated  38 

Total                 233 

Classification  of  Causes. 
1.  Under  pressure  within  the  boiler,  the  pressure  being  grad- 
ually increased.     In  this  class  are  the  cases  marked  "excessive 
2.  Presence  of  unduly  heated  metal  within  the  boiler.     In 
this  class  are  included 






..    fi.<U 

Deposits  2  —  16 

3.  Defective  construction  of  the  boiler  and  its  appendages. 
Improper  or  defective  material: 
In  this  class  are  included  cast-iron 

Number  of  Scats  built  in  each  of  the  following  years: 
1811  1        1S25  39 

1812  0 

1826  60 

1813  1 

1827  24 

1814  2 

1828  35 

1816  5 

1829  55 

1817  8 

1830  43 

Bad  workmanship  : 
Want  of  proper  gauge-cocks  3 

1818  31 

1831  68 

1819  34 

1832  .     ..     80 

1820                                            9 

1833                                          48 

Detective  flue  1 

1821                                            7 

1834                                         59 

Extending  wire  walls  1 

1822                                          10 

1835                                          52 

Pipe  badlv  constructed  1 

182S                                          14 

Tntnl                                                      fi84. 

Want  of  step-joints  on  pipe  1  —  7 

1824                                          13 

Defective  boiler  (nature  of  defect  not 
stated)  11 

The  following  is  a  compilation  of  the  number  of 
boats  lost  up  to  1850  : 

Total  in  this  class....                                     33 




From  1810  to  1820 

"      1820  to  1830 

"      1830  to  1840 

"      1840  to  1850 

Boats  whose  date  of  loss  is  unknown 


The  tonnage  of  480  of  the  above  boats,  as 

ascertained  by  record 

Tonnage,  supposed 








Original  cost  of  boats  lost  by  sinking,  as  as- 
certained   $6,348,940 

Supposed  original  cost  of  102  not  accounted 

for 765,000 

Total  original  cost 7,113,940 

Total  depreciation  while  in  service 3,665,890 

Final  loss 3,681,297 

The  list  of  boats  destroyed  by  fire  comprises  166.  The  orig- 
inal cost  of  these  166  steamers  was  $1,010,854. 

The  following  are  some  of  the  more  noteworthy 
disasters  to  St.  Louis  vessels : 

In  March,  1823,  the  "Tennessee,"  Capt,  Camp- 
bell, was  lost  and  thirty  persons  drowned.  In  Decem- 
ber of  the  same  year  the  "  Cincinnati,"  on  her  way 
from  St.  Louis  to  New  Orleans,  ran  on  a  snag  below 
Ste.  Genevieve  and  sank.  No  lives  were  lost. 

In  the  latter  part  of  April,  1832,  the  "  Talisman," 
lying  in  port  at  St.  Louis,  was  burned  to  the  water's 
edge.  Ou  the  24th  of  October,  1834,  the  "  Missouri 
Belle"  collided  with  the  "  Boone's  Lick"  and  sank 
almost  immediately,  thirty  persons  being  drowned. 

The  "Shepherdess,"  from  Cincinnati  for  St.  Louis, 
struck  a  snag  on  the  4th  of  January,  1844,  in  Ca- 
hokia  Bend,  within  three  miles  of  Market  Street 
wharf,  St.  Louis,  and  sank.  The  disaster  occurred 
about  eleven  o'clock  at  night,  and  as  most  of  the  pas- 
sengers had  retired  to  their  cabins  and  the  boat  sank 
rapidly,  the  loss  of  life  was  very  great. 

On  the  10th  of  March,  1848,  the  steamers  "Ava- 
lanche,'' "Hibernian,"  "John  J.  Hardin,"and  "  La- 
clede,"  with  two  barges,  were  burned  at  the  Levee  near 
the  foot  of  Washington  Street,  St.  Louis ;  and  on  the 
9th  of  May  the  steamers  "  Mail,"  "  Missouri  Mail," 
"  Lightfoot,"  and  "  Mary"  were  burned  at  their 
wharf  in  St.  Louis. 

The  following  boats  were  burned  at  St.  Louis 
during  the  year  1849,  excepting  at  the  time  of  the 
great  fire  in  May  : 

Algoran,  July  29th $18,000 

Dubuque,  July  29th 8,000 

Highlander,  May  1st 14,000 

Mary.  July  29ih 3(1,000 

Phoenix,  July  29th 16,1100 

Sun  Francisco,  July  29th 28,000 

Accidents  to  Steamboats  which  were  afterwards  raised  and  re- 
pa  ired. 

"  Buena  Vista,"  took  fire  at  Kaskaskia  landing ;  cargo  greatly 
damaged  by  water ;  boat  saved  from  burning  by  the  exertions  of 
her  officers  and  crew. 

"Governor  Briggs,"  struck  a  wreck  and  sunk  in  backing  out 
from  the  wharf  at  St.  Louis  July  12th;  afterwards  raised  and 

"  Magnet,"  collapsed  connection  pipe  and  flue  at  St.  Louis 
August  8th  ;  afterwards  repaired. 

"  San  Francisco,"  exploded  a  boiler  at  St.  Louis  May  30th, 
killing  and  scalding  several  persons;  afterwards  burned  at  the 
same  place  on  July  29th. 

Twenty-three  vessels  were  burned  at  the  wharf  in 
St.  Louis  at  the  time  of  the  great  fire  on  May  17, 
1849,  as  follows: 

"American  Eagle,"  Cossen,  master,  Keokuk  and  Upper  Mis- 
sissippi packet,  valued  at  $14,000,  total  loss;  insured  for  $3500 
in  Pittsburgh;  no  cargo. 

"Alice,"  Kennett,  master,  Missouri  River  packet,  valued  at 
$18,000,  total  loss;  insured  for  $12,000,— $9000  in  city  offices, 
balance  Eirst;  cargo  valued  at  $1000. 

"  Alexander  Hamilton,"  Hooper,  master,  Missouri  River 
packet,  valued  at  $15,000,  total  loss;  insured  for  $10,500  in 
Eastern  offices  ;  no  cargo. 

"  Acadia,"  John  Russell,  master,  Illinois  River  packet,  val- 
ued at  $4000,  total  loss;  fully  insured  in  Eastern  offices;  cargo 
fifty  barrels  molasses  and  sundry  small  lots  of  merchandise,  val- 
ued at  $1000. 

"Boreas,  No.  3,"  Bernard,  master,  Missouri  River  packet, 
valued  at  $14,500,  total  loss;  insured  for  $11, 500  in  city  offices; 
no  cargo. 

"  Belle  Isle,"  Smith,  master,  New  Orleans  trade,  valued  at 
$10,000,  total  loss;  insured  for  $8000  in  the  Columbus  agency 
at  New  Orleans  and  another  office;  no  cargo. 

"Eliza  Stewart,"  11.  McKee,  master,  Missouri  River  trade, 
valued  at  $9000,  total  loss;  insured  for  nearly  the  full  value, — 
$4500  in  the  Nashville  agency,  bain  nee  in  the  city  ;  no  cargo. 

"  Eudora,"  Ealer,  master,  New  Orleans  and  St.  Louis  trade, 
valued  at  $16,000,  total  loss;  insured  for  $10,500,  all  in  city 
offices;  no  cargo. 

"  Edward  Bates,"  Randolph,  master,  Keokuk  packet,  valued 
at  §22,500,  total  loss;  insured  for  $15,000,  all  in  city  offices;  no 

"  Frolic"  (tow-boat),  Ringling,  master,  valued  at  $1500,  total 
loss;  no  insurance  ;  no  cargo. 

"  General  Brook"  (tow-boat),  Ringling,  master,  valued  at 
$1500,  total  lo.js;  no  insurance  ;  no  cargo. 

"  Kit  Carson,"  Goddin,  master,  Missouri  river  packet,  valued 
at  $16,000,  total  loss;  insured  for  $8000,  if  not  more,  in  city 
offices;  cargo  valued  at  $3000. 

'•  Mauieluke,"  Sinithers,  master,  New  Orleans  and  St.  Louis 
trade,  valued  at  $30,000,  total  loss;  insured  for  $20,000,— $8000 
in  Louisville,  $5000  in  Columbus  agency,  $7000  in  St.  Louis ; 
no  cargo. 

"Mandan,"  Beers,  master,  Missouri  river  trader,  valued  at 
$14,000,  total  loss;  insured  for  $10,500,  all  in  city  offices;  no 

"  Montauk,"  Legrand  Morehouse,  master,  Upper  Mississippi 
trader,  valued  at $16,000,  total  loss;  insured  for $10,000,— $5000 
here,  balance  in  agencies;  cargo  valued  at  $8000. 

"  Martha,"  D.  Finch,  master,  Missouri  river  trader,  valued 
at  $10,000,  total  loss;  fully  insured;  cargo  valued  at  $30,000, 
also  insured. 

"  Prairie  State,"  Baldwin,  master,  Illinois  river  packet,  val- 
ued at  $26,000,  total  loss ;  insured  in  Eastern  offices  for  $18,000  ; 
cargo  valued  at  $3000. 

'•Red  Wing,"  Barger,  master,  Upper  Mississippi  trade,  val- 
ued at  $6000,  total  loss;  no  insurance;  cargo  valued  at  $3000. 



"St.  Peters,"  Ward,  master,  Upper  Mississippi  trade,  valued 
at  $12,000,  total  loss;  insured  for  $9000  in  the  Nashville  and 
Louisville  agencies;  no  cargo. 

"  Sarah,"  Young,  master,  New  Orleans  and  St.  Louis  trade, 
valued  sit  $35,000,  total  loss;  insured  for  $20,000  at  Cincinnati; 
cargo  valued  at  $30,000. 

"  Taglioni,"  Marshall,  master,  Pittsburgh  and  St.  Louis  trade, 
valued  at  $20,000,  total  loss;  insured  for  nearly  the  full  value 
in  Pittsburgh;  cargo  fifty  tons  of  iron,  five  hundred  kegs  of 
nails,  and  sundry  lots  of  merchandise,  valued  at  from  $12,000 
to  $15,000. 

"  Timour,"  Miller,  master,  Missouri  river  trade,  valued  at 
$25,000,  total  loss  ;  insured  for  $18,000,— $4000  in  the  city  offices, 
the  balance  East;  cargo  valued  at  $6000. 

"  White  Cloud,"  Adams,  master,  New  Orleans  and  St.  Louis 
trade,  valued  at  $3000,  total  loss;  fully  insured;  no  cargo. 

The  steamboat  "  Andrew  Jackson"  was  destroyed 
by  fire  while  lying  at  Illinoistown  on  Aug.  7,  1850. 
She  was  an  old  boat  and  insured  for  six  thousand  dol- 
lars. Five  other  boats  narrowly  escaped  being  con- 
sumed. The  steamboat  "  Governor  Briggs"  was  dam- 
aged by  collision  with  the  "  Allegheny  Mail,"  near  St. 
Louis,  on  January  13th.  The  "  Mustang"  was  burned 
to  the  water's  edge  at  St.  Louis  on  May  8th.  She  was 
rebuilt,  but  afterwards  lost  by  snagging  in  the  Mis- 
souri, near  Brunswick,  early  in  October.  The  "  Ohio" 
blew  out  a  mud-valve  at  St.  Louis  on  September  26th, 
scalding  two  persons. 

The  bursting  of  the  larboard  boiler  of  the  ferry- 
boat "St.  Louis,"  on  the  23d  of  February,  1851, 
caused  one  of  those  terrible  disasters  which  have  so 
often  shocked  the  public  in  this  country.  "  Timbers, 
large  masses  of  machinery,  brick-work,  and  ashes  were 
hurled  aloft  in  every  direction  with  many  human 
beings."  There  were  from  twenty-five  to  thirty  per- 
sons on  the  boat  at  the  time  of  the  explosion.  Of 
that  number  there  were  but  three  or  four  survivors. 
There  were  thirteen  bodies  identified.  The  cor- 
oner's list  of  dead  mentions  "  John  Walter  James, 
an  unknown  boy,  Sebastian  Smith,  a  boy  called  Bill, 
living  in  Illinoistown  near  Pap's  house,  Dr.  Truett, 
Merriwether  Smith,  Robert  Hardin,  Alexander 
McKean,  William  W.  Benson,  Isaac  Cooper,  Alfred 
Wells,  Ernest  August  Stuidt." 

The  steamer  "  Sultana"  was  destroyed  by  fire,  with 
a  loss  of  seventy-five  thousand  dollars  on  boat  and 
cargo,  on  the  12th  of  June,  1851,  while  lying  at  the 
foot  of  Mullanphy  Street,  St.  Louis. 

By  the  explosion  of  the  boilers  of  the  steamer 
"  Glencoe,"  upon  her  arrival  at  St.  Louis  from  New 
Orleans,  on  April  4,  1852,  another  great  destruction 
of  life  and  property  was  brought  about.  During  the 
same  fire  the  steamer  "  Cataract"  was  greatly  injured, 
together  with  wood-  and  wharf-boats.  On  the  18th 
of  January,  1853,  the  steamers  "New  England," 
"  Brunette,"  and  "  New  Lucy"  were  burned  at  the 

wharf  in  St.  Louis.  The  steamer  "•  Bluff  City"  was 
burned,  and  the  <;  Dr.  Franklin,  No.  2,"  and  "  High- 
land Mary"  were  greatly  damaged  by  the  fire  from 
the  first,  on  the  27th  of  July,  1853,  while  lying  at 
the  St.  Louis  Levee.  The  "  Montauk,"  "Robert 
Campbell,"  and  "  Lunette"  were  burned  on  the 
13th  of  October,  1853.  On  Feb.  16,  1854,  the 
Alton  packet,  "  Kate  Kearney,  No.  1,"  exploded 
her  starboard  boiler  just  as  she  was  starting  from  St. 
Louis.  Twenty-five  persons  were  severely  scalded. 
The  Rev.  S.  G.  Gassaway,  rector  of  St.  George's 
Church,  St.  Louis,  was  killed,  and  Mnj.  Buell  was 
severely  injured.  The  steamers  "  Twin  City,"  "Prai- 
rie City,"  and  "  Parthenia"  were  burned  at  the  wharf 
in  St.  Louis  on  the  7th  of  December,  1855.  A  loss 
of  nearly  one  hundred  thousand  dollars  was  caused 
by  the  burning  of  the  steamers  "  St.  Clair,"  "  Paul 
Anderson,"  "  James  Stockwell,"  "  Southerner,"  and 
"  Saranac,"  and  the  damaging  of  the  "  Monongahela," 
"Pennsylvania,"  and  "  Mattie  Wayne." 

The  steamer  "  Australia"  was  burned  on  the  1st  of 
April,  1859,  and  the  steamers  "  New  Monongahela" 
and  "Edinburgh"  at  Bloody  Island  on  the  15th  of 
May  of  the  same  year.  A  loss  of  two  hundred  thou- 
sand dollars  and  the  destruction  of  five  steamers  were 
caused  by  the  burning  of  the  "  H.  D.  Bacon,  the  "  L. 
L.  McGill,"  the  "  Estella,"  the  "A.  McDowell,"  and 
the  "  W.  H.  Russell,"  on  the  27th  of  October,  1862.1 
The  steamers  "  Imperial,"  valued  at  sixty  thousand 
dollars,  "  Hiawatha,"  valued  at  sixty  thousand  dollars, 
"  Jesse  K.  Bull,"  valued  at  twenty  thousand  dollars, 
and  the  "  Post-Boy,"  valued  at  thirty-five  thousand 
dollars,  were  burned  on  the  13th  of  September,  1863. 
The  "  Chancellor,"  "  Forest  Queen,"  and  the  "  Cata- 
houla"  were  burned  on  the  4th  of  October,  1863. 
The  steamer  "  Maria,"  having  on  board  a  portion  of  the 
Third  Iowa  and  Fourth  Missouri  Cavalry,  was  blown 
up  at  Caroudelet  in  December,  1864.2  The  "  Jennie 

1  The  number  of  steamboats  destroyed  and  damaged  in  1860 

was 299 

The  number  of  canai-boats  destroyed  and  damaged  in  I860 

was 48 

The  number  of  coal  and  Uat-boats  destroyed  and  damaged 

in   I860  was 208 

The  number  of  steamboats  totally  destroyed  was 120 

Due  to  the  following  causes  : 

Sunk 11 

Uunied 31 

Explosion 19 

Collision 24 

Loss  of  life,  254. 

*  From  the  RepnlUcan  of  Dec.  12,  1864  : 

"  At  seven  o'clock  Sunday  morning  the  steamboat  '  Maria,' 
loaded  with  government  troops,  horses,  mules,  wagons,  etc., 
was  blown  up  while  lying  at  the  landing  at  Carondclot,  and 
afterwards  burned  to  the  water's  edge.  About  six  o'clock  Sat- 
urday evening  the  '  Maria,"  '  Lillie  Martin,'  and  '  Ella  Faber,' 

Snagged  and  damaged 44 

Damaged  by  storm 39 

Breaking  machinery 21 

Collision  with  banks 8 



Lewis,"  and  the  ferry-boat  "  Illinois,  No.  2,"  were 
sunk  in  the  ice  at  St.  Louis,  Nov.  19,  1864. 

The  Carondelet  and  Marine  Railway  Docks,  together 
with  the  steamer  "  Jeanie  Deans,"  were  totally  destroyed 
by  fire  on  the  12th  of  May,  1866.  The  steamers 
"  Ida  Handy"  (valued  at  seventy-five  thousand  dol- 
lars), "  Bostona,"  and  "  James  Raymond"  were  burned 
on  the  2d  of  June,  1866.  The  steamer  "  Magnolia," 
valued  at  one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  dollars,  was 
burned  on  the  13th  of  June.  By  the  fire  of  the  7th 
of  April,  1866,  the  steamers  "  Fanny  Ogden"  with 
cargo,  the  "  Frank  Bates"  and  cargo,  the  "  Nevada" 
and  cargo,  the  "  Alex.  Majors"  with  cargo,  and  the 
"  Eflfie  Deans"  with  cargo,  all  together  .involving  a 
loss  of  over  five  hundred  thousand  dollars,  were  de- 
stroyed. On  the  26th  of  February,  1866,  a  disas- 
trous fire  occurred,  destroying  the  steamers  "  Le- 
viathan," "  Luna,"  "  Peytona,"  and  "  Dictator,"  with 
a  loss  estimated  at  three-quarters  of  a  million  of  dol- 

On  December  19th  the  steamer  "  Gray  Eagle"  was 
sunk  at  St.  Louis.  The  ice-gorge  of  1865-66  occa- 
sioned a  loss  of  nearly  a  million  of  dollars  to  the 
owners  of  steamboats.  The  following  was  the  esti- 


having  on  board  a  considerable  number  of  cavalry,  principally 
belonging  to  the  Third  Iowa  and  Fourth  Missouri  Cavalry, 
left  the  Levee  at  St.  Louis  and  dropped  down  to  Carondelet, 
about  seven  miles  below,  where  they  were  lying  when  the 
disaster  took  place,  the  '  Maria'  between  the  other  two.  She 
had  on  board  Col.  Benteen,  commanding  brigade,  with  his  staff 
and  escort,  Col.  B.  S.  Jones,  Third  Iowa  Cavalry,  a  portion  of 
his  command  and  detached  troops,  amounting  in  all  to  about 
one  hundred  men,  besides  the  crew  of  the  boat,  en  route  for 
Cairo.  The  explosion,  by  whatever  means  caused,  threw  the 
forward  end  of  the  boilers  apart,  landing  them  on  the  deck, 
without  disturbing  the  after  ends,  and  dashed  the  front  of  the 
furnaces  and  a  quantity  of  coal  forward,  setting  fire  to  bales  of 
hay,  twelve  of  which  only  were  on  deck,  the  remainder  with  the 
oats  being  in  the  hold.  At  the  moment  the  explosion  took  place 
the  floor  of  the  cabin  was  burst  up,  and  falling  back  precipitated 
a  number  of  soldiers  down  upon  the  boilers  and  burning  wreck. 
"  When  the  '  Maria'  left  St.  Louis  she  was  in  advance  of  the 
'  Ella  Faber,'  who  had  on  board  men  recently  belonging  to  the 
Fourth  Missouri  Cavalry.  Eight  of  the  men  of  this  regiment 
left  behind  got  on  board  the  'Maria.'  Two  only  of  those  are 
known  to  have  got  off  unhurt.  What  has  become  of  the  others 
is  not  known.  Immediately  after  the  accident  occurred  the 
'  Lillie  Martin,'  which  had  steamed  up,  fell  down  and  took  off 
the  men  on  board  and  on  the  after-part  of  the  boat,  and  also 
three  ladies.  In  half  an  hour  after  the  explosion  the  boat  was 
a  mass  of  flame,  allowing  time  to  save  nothing  but  the  load  of 
human  life  aboard.  The  '  Maria'  is  a  new  boat,  built  at  Cin- 
cinnati, the  trip  to  St.  Louis  being  her  third  since  built.  Her 
cost  was  thirty-five  thousand  dollars.  She  is  insured  at  Cin- 
cinnati, but  for  what  amount  we  did  not  learn.  The  officers  of 
the  '  Maria'  are  Capt.  Alexander  Montgomery ;  Wesley  B. 
Dravo  and  William  Dravo,  clerks;  Washington  Couch  and 
Frank  Ganger,  engineers;  Thomas  Botts  and  Andrew  Acker, 
mates;  Sol.  Catterlin  and  David  I'.hisli field,  pilots." 

mate  of  the  total  loss  of  steamboat-owners  and  under- 
writers from  the  formation  of  the  ice-gorge  at  St. 
Louis  in  1865  to  its  breaking  on  the  16th  of  De- 
!  cember  of  that  year,  together  with  the  names  of  the 
vessels  sunk : 


New  Admiral $60,000 

Old  Sioux  City 10,000 

Empire  City 20,000 

Calypso  (about) 30,000 

Highlander 20,000 

Geneva 27,000 

Metropolitan  (about) 18,000 

Four  wharf-boats  (about) 15,000 

Seven  barges  (about) 25,000 

On  the  second  breaking  up,  Friday, 
the  12th  January,  1866  : 

Belle  of  Memphis 85,000 

John  Trendly  (ferry-boat) 50,000 

Prairie  Rose 15,000 

Julia lfi,000 

Warsaw 35,000 

Underwriter,  No.  8 20,000 

Omaha 12,000 

Saturday,  the  13th  of  January,  the 

Nebraska 20,000 

City  of  Pekin 37,000 

Hattie  May 30,000 

Diadem 22,000 

Viola  Belle 30,000 

Reserve 30,000 

Rosalie 45,000 

Five  rock-boats  (about) 18,000 

Memphis  wharf-boat 5,000 

Alton  wharf-boat 2,500 

Total $697,500 

In  the  above  table  no  amount  whatever  is  set  down 
for  damage  done  the  boats  that  escaped  being  sunk. 
The  computations  made  on  this  subject  by  steamboat- 
men  and  steamboat-builders  aggregated  one  hundred 
and  forty  thousand  dollars,  while  some  went  as  high  as 
one  hundred  and  sixty  thousand  and  one  hundred  and 
seventy  thousand  dollars. 

The  following  is  a  list  of  steamboat  disasters  at 
or  near  St.  Louis  from  1867  to  1881,  inclusive: 

1867.  Jan.  20,  "Mexico,"  burned  at  St.  Louis;  total  loss. 
Jan.  26,  "  R.  C.  Wood,"  sunk  opposite  Carondelet. 

Jan.  26,  "  E.  H.  Fairchild,"  sunk  opposite  Carondelet. 
Feb.  6,  "Tom  Stevens,"  sunk  near  St.  Louis. 
Feb.  13,  "AVhite  Cloud,"  gunk  at  St.  Louis;  total  loss. 
June    13,    "Governor   Sharkey,"  sunk   at  St.  Louis;    total 

Sept.  10,  "G.W.Graham,"  burned  at  St.  Louis;  total  los». 
Sept.  10,  "Yellowstone,"  burned  at  St.  Louis;  total  loss. 
Sept.  27,  "  Illinois,"  exploded  at  St.  Louis;  repaired. 

1868.  Feb.  4,    "Anna   White,"  sunk  by  ice   in   St.   Louis 
harbor;  total  loss.     Value  812,000;  partly  insured. 

Feb.  4,  "Clara  Dolsen,"  New  Orleans  packet,  burned  in 
St.  Louis:  total  loss.  Insured  for  $25,000. 

Feb.  22,  "Kate  Putnam,"  sunk  near  St.  Louis;  raised  and 
repaired.  Insured  for  $20,000. 

Feb.  29,  "  Paragon,"  sunk  in  Mississippi  River  near  Cape 
Girardeau;  total  loss.  Insured  for  $35,000. 

March  2,  "M.  S.  Mephain,"  burned  at  St.  Louis  Levee. 
Value  $35,000  ;  insured  for  §40,000.  Total  loss. 

March  2,  "Fannie  Scott,"  burned  at  St.  Louis  Levee. 
Damage  $5000. 



March  2,  "Kate  Kinney,"  partially  burned  at  St.  Louis 
Levee.  Damage  $5000  ;  insured. 

April  18,  "  George  D.  Palmer"  (stern-wheeler),  partially 
burned  at  St.  Louis  Levee.  Damage  $5000 ;  insured  at  Cin- 

Dec.  18,  "George  McPorter,"  sunk  in  St.  Louis  harbor; 
total  loss. 

1869.  March  29,  "Carrie  V.  Kountz,"  "Gerard  B.  Allen," 
"Ben   Johnson,"   "Henry    Adkins,"    "Jennie    Lewis,"    and 
"Fannie  Scott"  burned  at  St.  Louis;  loss  nearly  $500,000. 

Oct.  28,  steamer  "Stonewall"  burned,  and  a  large  number  of 
lives  lost. 

1870.  Jan.  19,  steamer  "  Lady  Gay,"  one  day  out  from  St. 
Louis,  struck  a  snag  near  Grand  Tower  and  was  sunk.   She  was 
built  in  1865,  and  was  valued  at  $50,000.     She  was  one  of  the 
boats  of  the  St.  Louis  nnd  New  Orleans  Packet  Company,  and 
belonged  to  Capt.  I.  H.  Jones,  Theodore  Laveille,  and  others. 
She  was  insured  for  $24,000  on  boat  and  $30,800  on  cargo  and 

Jan.  28,  collision  between  the  tow-boat  "Fisher"  and  ferry- 
boat "  East  St.  Louis,"  opposite  Olive  Street;  damage  slight. 

1871.  Jan.  13,  tow-boat  "Tiber"  thrown  out  of  the  river  at 
the  foot  of  Biddle  Street,  St.  Louis,  by  floating  ice,  and  totally 

The  canal  propeller  "  Sligo"  beached  and  destroyed  by  the 
floating  ice  at  the  foot  of  Cherry  Street,  St.  Louis. 

Jan.  28,  the  steamer  "  W.  R.- Arthur,"  bound  from  New  Or- 
leans to  St.  Louis,  exploded  her  boilers  on  the  Mississippi  River 
when  about  twenty  miles  above  Memphis.  The  boat  was  to- 
tally destroyed.  By  this  accident  about  sixty  lives  were  lost. 

Feb.  28,  the  St.  Louis  and  Keokuk  packet  "Rob  Roy"  met 
with  a  serious  accident  when  leaving  St.  Louis.  The  starboard 
head  of  the  steam-drum  blew  out  with  great  force.  Two  state- 
rooms and  the  mess-room  were  demolished.  West  Robinson,  a 
deck-hand,  was  killed. 

March  8,  great  storm  at  St.  Louis.  The  St.  Louis  and  New 
Orleans  packet  "Mollie  Able,"  a  line  side-wheel  steamer,  lying 
at  the  East  St.  Louis  wharf,  was  caught  by  the  tornado  and 
almost  totally  destroyed.  Several  other  boats  were  injured. 

1876.  Feb.  12,  the  steamer  "  Rescue"  caught  fire  at  the  wharf 
in  St.  Louis  and  burned  to  the  water's  edge  ;  afterwards  rebuilt.. 

Feb.  16,  steamer  "John  M.  Chambers"  partly  burned  at 
wharf;  rebuilt. 

April  8,  steamer  "  Rob  Roy"  struck  St.  Louis  bridge ;  slightly 
damaged.  On  the  25th,  the  propeller  "  Whale"  struck  the  bridge, 
and  was  damaged  to  the  extent  of  about  $2000. 

Dec.  13,  the  ice-gorge  at  St.  Louis  gave  way,  carrying  with  it, 
destroying  and  partially  destroying,  the  following  boats  and 

barges : 

Steamers.  Value. 

Centennial $65,000 

Jennie  Baldwin 2,000 

Bayard 3,500 

Rock  Island 4,000 

Davenport 4,000 

Alexander  Mitchell 30,000 

War  Eagle 75,000 

Andy  Johnson 30,000 

There  was  no  insurance  on  any  of  the  above  steamers. 

Steamer  "Fannie  Keener"  was  also  sunk;  was  valued  at 
$5000,  fully  insured. 

Steamer  "  South  Shore,"  valued  at  $2500. 

Steamer  "Southern  Belle,"  valued  at  $1500,  and  four  barges, 
valued  at  $4500. 

1877.  Sept.  19,  while  the   steamer  "Grand   Republic''  was 
lying  in  port  at  St.  Louis  she  caught  fire  and  burned  to  the 
water's  edge.     She  cost  $300,000,  and  was  insured  for  $50,200. 
Six  weeks  previous  to  this  disaster  her  owners  spent  $25,000  in 


repairing  her.  The  iron-hulled  steamer  "  Carondelet,"  which 
was  lying  alongside  of  the  "Grand  Republic,"  met  the  same 
fate.  She  was  valued  at  $20,000  and  insured  for  $17,500. 
The  sparks  from  a  passing  steamer  were  the  supposed  cause  of 
the  fire. 

1878.  March  8,  steamer  "Colossal"   burned  to  the  water's 
edge  while  lying  at  the  bank  at  St.  Louis;  loss  $12,000. 

March  9,  the  tug-boat  "Baton  Rouge" damaged  by  fire  at  St. 

June  8,  steamer  "  Exchange"  burned  to  the  water's  edge  at 
St.  Louis ;  loss  $9000. 

1879.  June  11,  the  tug  "  Charles  F.  Nagle"  struck  a  snag  op- 
posite South  St.  Louis  and  sank.     She  was  raised. 

1880.  March  27,  steamer  "  Daisy"  sunk  at  South  St.  Louis; 
valued  at  $3000. 

Sept.  26,  steamer  "Fannie  Tatum"  sunk  below  St.  Louis; 
valued  at  $15,000  :  cargo,  $35,000.  She  was  raised. 

1881.  March  13,  steamer  "James  Howard"  destroyed  by  fire 
at  St.  Louis  wharf,  together  with  a  cargo  of  sugar,  etc.,  valued 
at  $65,000 ;  boat  valued  at  $75,000. 

April  9,  steamer  "  Victory"  collided  with  St.  Louis  bridge 
and  sunk ;  afterwards  raised. 

April  11,  the  tug  "Daisy"  exploded  her  boilers  and  sunk. 
Two  lives  lost. 

Steamboat-Building. — The  building  and  repairing 
of  steamboats  at  St.  Louis  is  an  industry  which 
originated  at  a  comparatively  early  period.  In  De- 
cember, 1830,  mention  was  made  of  the  fact  that  the 
Legislature  had  passed  an  act  to  incorporate  the  St. 
Louis  Marine  Railway  Company,  which  was  organized 
in  March,  1831,  with  Peter  Lindell,  president;  John 
Mullanphy,  D.  D.  Page,  Thomas  Biddle,  and  J. 
Clemens,  Jr.,  directors  ;  John  O'Fallon,  treasurer ;  and 
James  Clemens,  Jr.,  secretary.  In  1833  there  was 
in  existence  at  the  upper  end  of  the  city  a  marine 
railway  under  the  superintendence  of  Thomas  J. 
Payne,  which  it  had  been  announced  in  July  would 
be  ready  for  work  in  the  same  year.1 

In  1841  public  sentiment  began  to  be  directed 
towards  the  importance  of  securing  the  construction 
at  St.  Louis  of  the  steamboats  that  carried  on  her 
commerce,  and  the  newspapers  of  that  year  repeatedly 
called  attention  to  efforts  being  made  in  that  direction.2 

1  '•  Marine  Railway  at  St.  Louis. — The  proprietors  have  the 
pleasure  of  informing  the  public  that  their  ways  have  been 
fairly  tested,  and  are  now  ready  to  receive  for  repair  steamboats 
and  other  craft  at  the  very  low  price  of  one  hundred  dollars  for 
all  boats  not  exceeding  one  hundred  tons,  to  lie  on  the  ways  two 
days  for  repair  without  any  additional  charge,  except  the  cost 
of  repair.     Boats   exceeding  one  hundred  tons  will  be  charged 
one  dollar  per  ton,  with  the  privilege  of  lying  on  the  ways  for 
repair  from  two  to  four  days,  according  to  tonnage.     Boats  that 
shall  remain  on  the  ways  longer  than  is  herein  privileged  to 
pay  for  every  day  exceeding  the  privileged  number  twenty  per 
cent,  on  the  sum  charged  for  drawing  out. 


"Superintendent  Marine  Raihcay  Company." 
—Republican,  July  22,  1833. 

2  "  A  great  deal  has  been  said  by  the  newspapers  of  this  city 
in  favor  of  building  boats  at  this  place.     The  spirit  has  been 



In  1842  two  boat-yards  for  the  construction  of  vessels 
were  in  existence,  and  in  January,  1843,  the  marine 
railway  of  Messrs.  Murray  &  Sons,  below  Thomas' 
mill,  erected  for  the  purpose  of  drawing  out  and  re- 
pairing boats,  was  ready  for  work.  The  structure 
consisted  of  eight  ways  reaching  into  the  bed  of  the 
river  below  low-water  mark.  There  was  a  cradle  upon 
each  two  ways  which  let  down  into  the  river,  and 
upon  which  the  boat  was  placed,  and  from  these,  two 
chains  led  to  a  beam  which  was  propelled  by  a  wheel 
and  screws,  and  each  screw  was  turned  by  a  horse, 
thus  combining  the  power  of  the  lever  and  the  screw. 

The  Reporter  of  Jan.  29,  1846,  contained  the  fol- 
lowing statement  of  steamboats  built  at  St.  Louis,  of 
boats  built  elsewhere  for  St.  Louis,  and  of  boats  pur- 
chased and  brought  into  the  St.  Louis  trade  in  1845, 
furnished  by  L.  A.  Hedges,  surveyor  of  that  port : 

BOATS  BUILT  AT  ST.  Louis. 

Names.                                          Tonnage.  Cost. 

Governor  Briggs 91  $9.000 

Laclede 239  20,000 

Missouri 887  45,000 

Iowa 249  22,000 

Dial 140  7,000 

Helen 61  8,000 

Prairie  Bird 213  17,000 

Little  Dove 77  5,500 

Ocean  Wave 205  17.000 

Convoy 750  39,000 

2912  $189,500 

moved,  the  ground  has  been  broken,  and  we  trust  that  here- 
after we  ^hall  have  no  cause  to  complain,  and  that  our  boat- 
owners  will  consult  not  only  their  own  individual  interests,  but 
the  interests  of  the  community  also,  and  give  to  their  neighbors 
and  customers  employment  in  return  for  their  custom.  It 
is  not  more  gratifying  to  us  than  it  will  doubtless  be  to  many 
others  of  our  citizens  to  learn  that  Cnpt.  Case  has  opened 
a  boat-yard  in  the  upper  part  of  the  city,  near  the  site  of  the 
old  brewery.  The  situation  is  pronounced  by  experienced  boat- 
builders  to  be  one  of  the  best  in  the  West.  The  water  in 
front  of  it  is  deep,  and  no  difficulty  will  be  experienced  at  any 
season  of  the  year  in  launching  boats.  Upon  examination  it  is 
ascertained  that  the  timber  is  superior  to  any  used  in  the  West 
in  building  boats. 

"A  contract  has  been  made  by  Messrs.  Hoffman,  Alleyne  & 
Klein  for  the  hull  of  a  new  boat,  and  for  the  machinery  of  the 
'  Little  Red,'  of  three  hundred  and  fifty  tons,  for  the  New 
Orleans  trade.  The  keel  has  been  laid,  and  the  frame  is  nearly 
ready  to  be  put  up.  The  foundry-work  will  be  by  Messrs. 
Kingsland  &  Lightener,  and  the  cabin  and  upper  works  by  Mr. 
Lumm.  The  whole  is  under  the  supervision  of  Capt.  J.  C. 

"  A  contract  has  been  made  for  the  rebuilding  of  a  boat  to  be 
called  the  '  Phoenix,'  and  for  the  machinery  of  the  '  Missouri.' 
The  contract  for  the  hull  has  been  made  with  the  Dry-Dock 
Company,  the  cabin  and  superstructure  by  Messrs.  Whitehill 
&  AVeston,  the  foundry-work  by  Messrs.  Kingsland  &  Lightner 
and  her  clothing  and  other  articles  of  outfit  by  Mr.  John  J. 
Anderson,  the  whole  under  the  superintendence  of  Capt.  John 
F.  Hunt."— Republican,  Nov.  11,  1841. 


Names.                                            Tonnage.  Cost. 

Boreas,  No.  2,  Pittsburgh 222  $20,500 

Nebraska,  Pittsburgh 149  15,500 

War  Eagle,  Cincinnati 156  14,000 

Time,  Louisville 109  6,500 

Windsor,  Louisville 196  16,000 

Wiota,  Eliznhethtown 219  17,000 

Odd  Fellow,  Southland 98  7,500 

Pride  of  the  West,  Cincinnati..     371  20,000 

1520  $117,000 


Names.                                            Tonnage.  Cost. 

Falcon,  of  Beaver 144  86,000 

Fortune,   of  Louisville 101  6,000 

Balloon,  of  New  Albany  154  6,000 

Radnor,  of  Jefferson ville 163  6,000 

Ceeiliii,  of  Pittsburgh 112  3,000 

North  Bend,  of  Pittsburgh 120  4,000 

Archer,  of  Pittsburgh 148  9,000 

Amulet,  of  Wheeling t...       56  2,500 

Tioga,  of  Wheeling 171  4,000 

Tributary,  of  Pittsburgh 149  8,000 

Lehigh,  of  Pittsburgh 188  4,500 

Cumberland   Valley,    of  Smith- 
land 168  2,000 

1674  $61,000 

Total  addition   to  St.    Louis 

tonnage 6106 

Total  cost..., 


This  statement  is  interesting,  as  showing  the  in- 
crease of  boat-building  in  St.  Louis,  as  well  as  ena- 
bling us  to  compare  the  cost  between  boats  built  in  St. 
Louis  and  those  built  elsewhere  at  this  time.1 

The  Marine  Railway  and  Floating  Dock  Company 
in  1850  had  at  Carondelet  a  dock  three  hundred  and 
fifty  feet  in  length  and  ninety-four  feet  in  breadth, 
with  seven  feet  depth  of  hold.  The  hold  was  divided 
into  four  water-tight  compartments  from  bow  to  stern, 
which  were  sub-divided  by  bulkhead  thwartships,  cut- 
ting the  whole  into  twenty-six  air-  and  water-tight 
chambers.  The  Mound  City  Marine  Ways  Company 
was  established  in  1858  by  Capt.  William  L.  Hamble- 
ton,  and  its  affairs  were  subsequently  conducted  under 
thenameof  Hambleton  Brothers.^  The  business  proved 
very  successful,  a  hundred  new  boats  having  been 
built  by  the  firm  and  more  than  a  thousand  repaired. 

The  building  of  iron  hulls  for  steamboats  has  of 
late  years  become  an  important  industry  at  St.  Louis. 
Though  several  iron-plated  war-vessels  were  con- 

*It  was  noted  in  the  Republican  of  Nov.  1,  1848,  that  "con- 
tracts have  been  entered  into  with  Messrs.  Brotherton  &  Gordon 
for  the  lumber  to  be  used  in  the  building  of  a  ship  in  this  city. 
It  is  to  be  commenced  immediately  by  Capt.  Evans  and  Mr. 
French,  who  design  to  make  it  a  permanent  business.  The  ves- 
sel is  to  be  of  three  hundred  tons  burden,  and  will  be  com- 
pletely fitted  and  rigged  here.  It  is  to  be  completed  by  the  1st 
of  April,  will  then  be  loaded  and  proceed  seaward.  It  is  be- 
lieved that  sea-vessels  can  be  built  here  on  better  terms  than  at 
New  York  or  on  the  Ohio.  The  timber  used  in  their  construc- 
tion is  of  a  better  quality  than  that  obtained  on  the  Ohio,  and 
greatly  clreaper  than  that  which  is  used  in  New  York." 



structed  at  St.  Louis  during  the  civil  war,  it  was 
not  until  about  the  year  1874  that  the  building  of 
iron  hulls  took  definite  and  positive  form  as  a  leading 
industry.  To  Theodore  Allen,  more  than  to  any  other 
individual,  is  due  the  credit  of  establishing  this  great 
business.  In  1874,  Mr.  Allen  issued  a  prospectus 
pointing  out  the  advantages  of  iron  hulls  over  wooden, 
and  pioposed  the  erection  of  the  "  St.  Louis  Iron 
Ship  Works,"  which  were  afterwards  inaugurated 
under  the  name  of  the  "  Western  Iron  Boat  Building  i 
Company,"  composed  of  Messrs.  Chouteau,  Harrison, 
and  Vallee,  well-known  iron  manufacturers.  Of  this 
company  Mr.  Allen  became  superintendent.  The 
yards  of  the  company  at  Carondelet  extend  for  two 
thousand  one  hundred  feet  along  the  river-front,  and 
back  to  the  railroad,  employing  about  two  hundred 
men.  A  pamphlet  published  by  Charles  P.  Chou- 
teau in  1878  gives  a  map  and  very  complete  statistics 
of  the  products  of  the  West,  covering  the  statistics  of 
tonnage  and  business  on  Western  waters,  the  tow- 
ing and  barge  business,  the  defects  of  wooden  and  the 
advantages  of  iron  hulls. 

St.  Louis  and  St.  Paul  Packet  Company. — This 
corporation  had  its  origin  in  the  Keokuk  Northern 
Line  Packet  Company,  which  was  formed  by  the  con- 
solidation of  the  St.  Louis  and  Keokuk  Packet  Com- 
pany and  the  Northern  Line  Packet  Company.  The 
St.  Louis  and  Keokuk  Line  was  formed  Jan.  1,  1842, 
the  principal  members  of  the  company  being  Capt. 
John  S.  McCune  and  J.  E.  Yeatman.  In  October, 
1842,  the  keel  of  the  first  boat,  the  "  Di  Vernon," 
was  laid  at  St.  Louis,  and  the  vessel  was  completed  at 
a  cost  of  sixteen  thousand  dollars  and  started  on  her 
first  trip  to  Keokuk  before  the  close  of  navigation. 
On  the  opening  of  the  spring  trade  in  1843  she  com- 
menced running  regularly,  and  with  two  other  (tran- 
sient) steamers  formed  a  daily  line,  which  continued 
throughout  the  season.  During  the  following  winter 
the  company  built  the  "  Laclede,"  one  of  the  best 
steamboats  of  her  day,  and  at  the  same  time  purchased 
the  "  Boreas."  With  these  vessels  the  daily  line  was 
resumed  in  the  spring  of  1844,  the  company  in  the 
mean  time  having  secured  the  contract  for  carrying  the 
mails.  During  this  season  an  opposition  line  with  three 
steamers — the  "  Swallow,"  "  Anthony  Wayne,"  and 
"  Edwin  Bates" — was  organized,  and  in  the  following 
spring  both  lines  commenced  running  and  continued 
until  about  midsummer,  when  the  new  line  suc- 
cumbed, and  the  "  Bates,"  a  fast  and  handsome  boat, 
was  purchased  by  the  old  company.  In  the  spring 
of  1846  the  "Lucy  Bertram,"  and  in  the  fall 
of  1847  the  "  Kate  Kearney,"  both  new  and  hand- 
some vessels,  were  added  to  the  line.  Another 

"  Di  Vernon"  was  built  at  St.  Louis  in  1850  at  a 
cost  of  forty-nine  thousand  dollars,  a  sum  which  was 
thought  at  the  time  to  be  very  large  for  the  construc- 
tion of  a  steamboat.  In  the  spring  of  the  same  year 
another  opposition  line,  with  the  steamers  "  Monon- 
gahela,"  "  New  England,"  and  "  Mary  Stephens,"  was 
established.  The  two  lines  were  kept  up  during 
nearly  the  entire  spring  and  summer.  One  boat  of 
each  line  left  port  daily,  side  by  side,  at  the  top  of 
its  speed,  burning  the  most  expensive  fuel,  paying 
the  highest  wages,  and  carrying  freight  and  passen- 
gers at  a  price  so  low  that  the  entire  receipts  of  both 
would  not  defray  one  boat's  wood  bill.  The  contest 
was  long  and  severe,  and  lasted  until  late  in  the  sum- 
mer. When  the  two  lines  had  sunk  about  fifty  thou- 
sand dollars,  the  opposition  boats  were  withdrawn  and 
sold  at  auction,  and  the  "  New  England"  was  pur- 
chased by  the  old  company. 

The  "  Jeanie  Deans"  was  built  in  the  summer  of 
1852,1  and  the  "  New  Lucy"  in  the  fall  of  the  same 
year.  The  "  New  Lucy"  was  burned  at  her  wharf  at 
St.  Louis  about  six  weeks  after  being  finished.  Dur- 
ing the  summer  of  1853  the  "  Westerner"  was  built, 
and  subsequently  another  "  Kate  Kearney."  There 
were  also  added  to  the  line  from  time  to  time  the 
"  Sam  Gaty,"  "  Keokuk,"  and  "  Quincy,"  built  at 
St.  Louis,  and  the  u  Ben  Campbell,''  <;  Prairie  State," 
"  J.  McKee,"  "  Glaucus,"  "  Regulator,"  "  Jenny 
Lind,"  «  Conewago,"  "  York  State,"  "  Winchester," 
"  Thomas  Swann,"  and  others  obtained  by  purchase. 

1  The  commander  of  the  "Jeanie  Deans"  was  Capt.  J.  W. 
Malin.  Capt.  Malin  was  born  in  October,  1818,  at  Vevay, 
Switzerland  Co.,  Ind.  In  1832  he  commenced  his  career  as  a 
river  pilot  in  the  flat-boat  business,  between  Madison  and  Cin- 
cinnati, and  a  few  years  later  began  running  a  packet  between 
Cincinnati  and  St.  Louis,  commanding  at  different  times  in  that 
trade  the  "John  Drennan,"  the  "  Mary  Stevens,"  the  "Royal 
Arch,"  the "  Hamburgh,"  and  the  "Statesman."  He  nest  en- 
gaged in  the  Minnesota  trade,  and  was  afterwards  connected 
for  ten  years  with  the  Keokuk  Packet  Line,  commanding  at 
first  the  "Jeanie  Deans,"  with  which  he  remained  until  the 
building  of  the  "  Warsaw,"  which  he  commanded  until  that 
vessel  became  unfit  for  further  use.  In  1868  he  engaged  with 
Capt.  Scudder  in  the  commission  business  in  St.  Louis,  the  firm 
being  Malin  &  Scudder,  but  subsequently  returned  to  his  old 
occupation  and  commanded  vessels  in  the  Star  and  Anchor 
Lines.  Capt.  Malin  had  purchased  in  1868  an*  interest,  with 
Capt.  Brolaski,  in  the  Laclede  Hotel,  and  in  1870,  having  bought 
his  partner's  share,  he  associated  his  son,  Walter  A.  Malin,  with 
him  and  assumed  the  management  of  the  hotel.  In  1871  the 
erection  of  an  extensive  addition  to  the  hotel  was  commenced 
by  Dr.  Bircher,  and  completed  in  August,  1873,  at  which  time 
Malin  &  Son  took  possession  and  united  the  two  under  the  name 
of  the  Laclede-Bircher  Hotel.  The  latter  portion  of  the  title, 
however,  was  seldom  used,  and  the  hotel  was  popularly  known 
simply  as  the  Laclede.  Capt.  Malin  died  at  the  Hot  Springs, 
Ark.,  in  September,  1874. 



In  1857  the  company  established  the  Quincy  line, 
making  one  freight  and  passenger  line  between  St. 
Louis  and  Quincy,  and  one  mail  and  passenger  line 
between  St.  Louis  and  Keokuk.  They  were  arranged 
as  follows : 

Quincy  Packets.  —  "Keokuk,"  Bradley,  master; 
"Sam  Gaty,"  Richardson,  master;  "Quincy,"  Ford, 

Keokuk  Mail  Packets. — "  Jeanie  Deans,"  Malin, 
master ;  "  Di  Vernon,"  Sheble,  master ;  "  Thos. 
Swann,"  Johnson,  master. 

About  1871  the  line  was  consolidated  with  the  North- 
ern Line  Packet  Company.  In  the  winter  of  1857— 
58  a  number  of  the  captains  of  steamboats  plying  be- 
tween St.  Louis  and  St.  Paul  determined  to  form  a 
new  line  and  make  regular  trips,  leaving  on  stated 
days  in  the  week.  On  the  opening  of  navigation  in 
the  following  spring  this  line  consisted  of  the  steam- 
ers "  Canada,"  Capt.  James  Ward;  "  W.  L.  Ewing," 
Capt.  W.  Green  ;  "  Denmark,"  Capt.  R.  C.  Gray  ; 
"Metropolitan,"  Capt.  Thomas  B.  Rhodes;  "Minne- 
sota Belle,"  Capt.  Thomas  B.  Hill ;  and  "  Pembina," 
Capt.  Thomas  H.  Griffith.  Messrs.  Warden  &  Shaler 
.were  appointed  agents,  and  the  line  was  known  as  the 
Northern  Line.  In  1859  the  "  Chippewa,"  Capt. 
W.  H.  Crapeta ;  "  Dew  Drop,"  Capt.  N.  W.  Parker ; 
"  Lucie  May,"  Capt.  J.  B.  Rhodes ;  "  Aunt  Letty," 
Capt.  C.  G.  Morrison  ;  "  Northerner,"  Capt.  P.  A. 
Alford,  and  the  "  Laclede"  were  added. 

In  the  winter  of  1859-60  the  owners  of  the  differ- 
ent vessels  decided  to  form  a  joint-stock  company,  and 
organized  under  the  name  of  the  Northern  Line 
Packet  Company.  The  incorporators  and  directors 
were  D.  Hawkins,  Thomas  Gordon,  and  J.  W.  Parker, 
of  Galena,  111. ;  John  B.  Rhodes,  of  Savannah,  111. ; 
R.  C.  Gray,  of  Pittsburgh,  Pa. ;  and  James  Ward 
and  Thomas  H.  Griffith,  of  St.  Louis.  Mo.  Capt. 
James  Ward  was  elected  president,  and  Thomas  H. 
Griffith  secretary  and  treasurer.  The  vessels  owned 
by  the  company  were  the  "  Sucker  State,"  "  Hawk- 
Eye  State,"  "  Canada,"  "  Pembina,"  "  Metropolitan," 
"  Northerner,"  "  W.  L.  Ewing,"  "  Denmark,"  "  Henry 
Clay,"  "  Minnesota  Belle,"  and  "  Fred.  Lorenz." 

In  1864,  Capt.  William  F.  Davidson,  who  had  been 
managing  a  line  of  steamboats  on  the  upper  Missis- 
sippi, established  a  service  between  Dubuque  and  St. 
Paul,  and  subsequently,  having  purchased  the  prop- 
erty of  the  Galena  Packet  Company,  established  the 
Northwestern  Union  Packet  Company.  In  1868  the 
Northern  Line  Packet  Company  admitted  the  boats  of 
the  Northwestern  Company  into  their  line,  and  in  the 
following  year  the  vessels  were  running  under  the 
direction  of  the  Northern  Company.  In  1871  the 

steamers  of  the  two  companies  plying  between  St. 
Louis  and  northern  points  were :  Northern  Line,  "  Lake 
Superior,"  "  Red  Wing,"  ;'  Dubuque,"  "  Minnesota," 
"  Davenport,"  "  Muscatine,"  "  Pembina,"  "  Savannah," 
"Sucker State,"  and  "  Minnesota;"  Northwestern  Linei 
"North western, v  "S.S.Merrill,"  "Belleof  LaCrosse," 
"Alexander  Mitchell,"  "  Victory,"  "  City  of  Quincy," 
"  Molly  McPike,"  and  "  Phil  Sheridan."  Up  to  1871 
the  Northern  Line  had  lost  but  three  boats, — the  "  Den- 
mark," sunk  at  Atlas  Island  by  striking  a  log ;  the 
"  Northerner,"  burned  at  the  St.  Louis  Levee  ;  and  the 
"  Burlington,"  sunk  at  Wabasha.  The  officers  in 
1870  were  Thomas  B.  Rhodes,  president ;  Thomas  H. 
Griffith,  secretary ;  Thomas  J.  Buford,  superintend- 
ent; and  I.  M.  Mason,  general  freight  agent.  The 
total  number  of  tons  of  freight  deposited  by  the 
steamers  of  the  company  during  the  year  at  St.  Louis 
was  seven  hundred  and  sixty-four  thousand  three 
hundred  and  seven. 

The  Keokuk  Packet  and  the  Northern  Line  Packet 
Companies  were  competitors  for  the  same  trade,  and 
the  rivalry  between  them  became  so  close  and  ener- 
getic that  each  suffered  heavily,  and  it  was  finally  de- 
cided to  form  a  new  company  which  should  embrace 
them  both.  Accordingly  a  new  corporation  was  or- 
ganized, with  the  name  of  the  Keokuk  Northern  Line 
Packet  Company,  the  capital  stock  of  which  was 
seven  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  dollars,  and  the 
property  of  the  competing  lines  was  purchased.  The 
first  president  was  Capt.  John  S.  McCune,  who  man- 
aged its  affairs  with  marked  ability  until  his  death. 
He  was  succeeded  by  Darius  Hawkins,  who  was  the 
nominal  head  of  the  company  during  a  period  of 
legal  difficulties  until  1875,  when  Capt.  William  F. 
Davidson  was  elected  president.  In  1879-80  the 
company  owned  the  following  steamboats : 


Northwestern 802.06 

Rob  Roy 967.00 

Red  Wing 670.43 

War  Eagle 953.74 

Charlie  Uheever 313.67 

Barges,    forty  -  eight 

in  number 13,242.49 

Total  tonnage...  21,391.16 

The  officers  in  1879  were  William  F.  Davidson, 
president ;  Francis  Johnston,  secretary  ;  John  Baker, 
agent ;  James  A.  Lyon,  general  passenger  agent. 

The  St.  Louis  and  St.  Paul  Packet  Company,  the 
successor  of  the  Keokuk  Northern,  was  organized  in 
June,  1881,  with  a  capital  stock  of  one  hundred  thou- 
sand dollars,  the  incorporators  being  W.  F.  Davidson, 
R.  M.  Hutchinson,  and  F.  L.  Johnston.  The  com- 
pany transacts  a  general  passenger  and  freight  business 
between  St.  Paul  and  St.  Louis,  and  owns  the  following 


Alexander  Mitchell 512.09 

Belle  of  La  Crosse......  476.69 

Clinton 909.22 

Daniel  Hine 100.61 

Damsil 210.71 

Golden  Eiigle 941.50 

G.  H.  Wilson 159.06 

Minneapolis 649.62 

Minnesota...,  ..  482.27 



boats :  "  Gem  City,"  "  War  Eagle,"  "  Alexander 
Mitchell,"  "  Minneapolis,"  "  Northwestern,"  "  Belle  of 
La  Crosse,"  and  "  Centennial."  The  officers  in  1882 
were  W.  F.  Davidson,  president ;  R.  M.  Hutchinson, 
superintendent ;  and  P.  S.  Johnston,  secretary.  The 
general  offices  are  located  at  Dubuque,  Iowa. 

William  F.  Davidson,  successively  president  of  the 
Keokuk  Northern  and  St.  Louis  and  St.  Paul  compa- 
nies, is  one  of  the  leading  steamboat  proprietors  of  the 
West.  He  was  born  in  Lawrence  County,  Ohio,  on  the 
4th  of  February,  1825.  His  father  being  a  boatman, 
Capt.  Davidson  was  educated  from  his  earliest  boy- 
hood in  the  navigation  of  Western  waters.  When 
only  twenty  years  of  age  he  was  captain  of  the 
steamer  "  Gondola"  on  the  Ohio  River,  and  in 
1856  established  a  line  of  three  steamers  on  the 
upper  Mississippi.  He  also  engaged  in  the  same 
business  in  1857-58  on  the  Minnesota  River,  and 
subsequently  established  a  line  between  La  Crosse  and 
St.  Paul,  and  in  1864  a  line  from  Dubuque  to  St. 
Paul.  He  then  purchased  the  Galena  Packet  Com- 
pany's property  and  franchises  and  organized  the 
Northwestern  Union  Packet  Company,  which  was  af- 
terwards consolidated  with  the  Northern  Line,  which 
in  turn  was  absorbed  by  the  Keokuk  Northern.  After 
the  death  of  Capt.  J.  S.  McCune,  president  of  the 
latter  corporation,  Capt.  Davidson  was  elected  his  suc- 
cessor, and  is  now  president  of  the  St.  Louis  and  St. 
Paul  Packet  Company.  Capt.  Davidson  has  thus  had 
a  varied  but  uniformly  successful  career  as  a  steamboat 
manager,  and  his  company,  under  his  energetic  but 
wise  and  prudent  administration,  is  now  in  a  flourish- 
ing condition.  Capt.  Davidson  was  married  in  1859 
to  Miss  Sarah  A.  Johnson,  daughter  of  Judge  John- 
son, of  Lawrence  County,  Ohio. 

The  St.  Louis  and  St.  Paul  Passenger  Freight 
Line  was  incorporated  in  December,  1880,  under  the 
laws  of  Wisconsin,  with  the  following  board  of  direc- 
tors :  P.  L.  Davidson,  S.  F.  Clinton,  and  Lafayette 
Holmes.  The  company  transacts  a  general  passenger 
and  freight  transportation  business  on  the  Mississippi 
River,  between  St.  Louis  and  St.  Paul,  and  owns  the 
following  steamboats:  "  Grand  Pacific,"  '-Arkansas," 
"  Flying  Eagle,"  "  Alexander  Kendall,"  "  White 
Eagle,"  and  "  Alfred  Todd."  The  officers  for  1882 
were  P.  L.  Davidson,  president ;  S.  F.  Clinton,  vice- 
president  ;  and  Lafayette  Holmes,  secretary.  The  gen- 
eral offices  are  located  in  La  Crosse,  Wis. 

The  Diamond  Jo  Line  was  established  in  1867 
by  Joseph  Reynolds.  It  started  in  a  small  way,  with 
only  one  boat,  which  was  employed  by  Mr.  Reynolds 
in  the  produce  trade  on  the  upper  Mississippi,  with 
headquarters  at  Dubuque,  Iowa.  The  business  in- 

creased with  every  succeeding  year  until,  in  1882, 
there  were  five  elegant  steamers  running  on  the  line 
between  St.  Louis  and  St.  Paul.  The  boats  are  the 
"  Mary  Morton,"  "  Libbie  Conger,"  "  Diamond  Jo," 
"  Josephine,"  and  "  Josie,"  all  of  which  are  equipped 
with  the  latest  and  most  improved  machinery  and  life- 
saving  apparatus.  The  officers  in  1882  were  Joseph 
Reynolds,  general  manager,  and  E.  M.  Dickey,  gen- 
eral freight  agent.  The  general  office  is  at  Dubuque, 

The  St.  Louis  and  Vicksburg  Packet  Company 
was  organized  and  chartered  in  1859,  as  the  Memphis 
and  St.  Louis  Packet  Company,  by  John  A.  Scudder, 
Daniel  Able,  Wm.  J.  Lewis,  Wm.  C.  Postal,  and  R. 
L.  McGce.  The  Memphis  Line  commenced  with  the 
steamers  "  Ben  Lewis,"  "  J.  H.  Dickey,"  and  "  Platte 
Valley,"  which  were  followed  in  turn  by  the  "  John 
D.  Perry,"  "  Rowena,"  "  C.  E.  Hillman,"  "  Colorado," 
"St.  Joseph,"  "Mary  E.  Forsyth,"  "Southerner," 
"  Courier,"  "  Robb,"  "  Adam  Jacobs,"  "  City  of 
Alton,"  "Luminary,"  "  Julia,"  "  G.  W.  Graham," 
"Belle  of  Memphis,  No.  1,"  "Belle  of  St.  Louis," 
"  City  of  Cairo,"  "  City  of  Vicksburg,"  "  Grand 
Tower,"  "  Belle  of  Memphis,  No.  2,"  and  the  "  City 
of  Chester." 

During  the  first  eleven  years  but  one  serious  acci- 
dent occurred,  the  explosion  of  the  "  Ben  Lewis,"  at 
Cairo.  The  "  Belle  of  Memphis,  No.  1,"  was  lost  in 
the  ice  at  St.  Louis,  and  the  "  G.  W.  Graham"  was 
burned  at  the  Levee,  but  in  neither  instance  were  any 
lives  lost.  The  first  president  of  the  company  was 
Capt.  Daniel  Able,  whose  life  had  been  identified  with 
river  interests  from  boyhood,  and  who  managed  the 
line  with  maiked  ability.  He  was  succeeded  by  W. 
G.  Lewis,  who  in  turn  was  followed  by  John  J.  Roe, 
under  whose  administration  the  business  of  the  com- 
pany was  greatly  increased  and  extended.  A  regular 
line  of  packets  between  St.  Louis  and  Vicksburg  was 
established,  and  the  construction  of  a  number  of  new 
steamboats  was  contracted  for.  On  the  death  of  Mr. 
Roe,  Capt.  Henry  W.  Smith,  who  had  long  been 
identified  with  the  company  as  general  superintendent, 
was  elected  president.1 

1  Henry  W.  Smith  was  born  in  Connecticut,  and  about  1845 
removed  to  Missouri,  settling  at  Glasgow,  where  he  engaged  in 
mercantile  pursuits.  While  thus  occupied  he  was  chosen  a 
member  of  the  State  Legislature,  and  served  with  ability  and 
zeal.  In  1850  he  abandoned  his  business  at  Glasgow  to  engage 
in  steamboat  enterprises,  and  commenced  his  career  on  the  river 
as  clerk  on  the  "  General  Lane."  He  afterwards  commanded  and 
owned  steamers  of  the  same  line.  In  1855  he  was  made  in- 
spector of  hulls  for  the  board  of  underwriters,  but  upon  the 
formation  of  the  Memphis  Packet  Line  he  was  called  into  ac- 
tive service  again,  and,  as  general  superintendent,  and  subse- 



Capt.  Smith  died  in  March,  1870,  and  was  suc- 
ceeded in  the  presidency  of  the  company  by  John  A. 

In  1879  the  steamboats  belonging  to  the  company 
were  the 


Belle  of  Memphis 919.67 

Colorado 632.87 


John  B.  Maude 922.04 

Ste.  Genevieve 790.20 

City  of  Vicksburg 1058.28    City  of  Greenville 1438.06 

City  of  Helena 1058.28 

Emma  C.  Elliott 660.16        Total 8537.84 

Grand  Tower 1058.28' 

The  officers  in  1879  were  John  A.  Scudder,  presi- 
dent ;  Theodore  Zeigler,  secretary ;  John  P.  Reiser, 
superintendent ;  and  William  B.  Russell,  agent.  In 
that  year  a  reorganization  of  the  company  was  effected, 
and  its  name  was  changed  to  the  St.  Louis  and  Vicks- 
burg Packet  Company,  and  the  line  is  now  known  as 
the  St.  Louis  and  Vicksburg  Anchor  Line. 

The  company  owns  the  following  steamers,  which 
ply  between  St.  Louis  and  Memphis  and  Vicksburg : 
"  Ctyy  of  Providence,"  "  Gold  Dust,"  "  City  of  Green- 
ville," "  Belle  of  Memphis,"  "  City  of  Cairo,"  "  City 
of  Vicksburg,"  "  Arkansas  City,"  "  James  B.  Maude," 
"  City  of  Helena,"  "  Ste.  Genevieve,"  "  E.  C.  Elliott," 
and  "  Colorado."  The  general  office  is  located  on  the 
company's  wharf-boat  at  the  foot  of  Locust  Street,  and 
the  officers  in  1882  were  John  A.  Scudder,  president 
and  general  manager ;  Directors,  John  A.  Scudder,  G. 
B.  Allen,  J.  P.  Reiser,  and  T.  C.  Zeigler.  The  capital 
stock  is  five  hundred  thousand  dollars. 

The  New  Orleans  Anchor  Line  was  organized  in 
June,  1878,  and  incorporated  during  the  same  month 
with  a  capital  stock  of  three  hundred  thousand  dol- 
lars, the  ^corporators  being  John  A.  Scudder,  James 
P.  Reiser,  G.  B.  Allen,  William  J.  Lewis,  and  T.  C. 
Zeigler.  John  A.  Scudder  was  elected  president,  and 
has  retained  that  position  ever  since.  The  company 
transacts  a  general  passenger  and  freight  transporta- 
tion business  on  the  Mississippi  River  between  St. 
Louis  and  New  Orleans,  the  steamers  employed  being 
the  "  City  of  New  Orleans,"  "  City  of  Alton,"  "  City 
of  Baton  Rouge,"  "John  A.  Scudder,"  "  W.  P. 
Holliday,"  and  "  Commonwealth."  This  company 
does  its  own  insurance,  and  during  its  existence  has 
lost  five  boats  by  fire. 

John  A,  Scudder,  president  of  the  St.  Louis  and 
Vicksburg  Anchor  Line  and  New  Orleans  Anchor 
Line,  has  long  been  identified  with  steamboat  inter- 
ests on  the  Mississippi.  He  was  born  at  Maysville, 

quently  president,  of  that  company  he  became  widely  known 
upon  the  Western  waters.  At  the  time  of  his  death  Capt.  Smith 
was  also  president  of  the  Wrecking  Company,  and  of  a  build- 
ing association,  besides  being  engaged  in  a  large  lumber  busi- 
ness in  East  St.  Louis  and  other  mercantile  enterprises. 

Mason  Co.,  Ry.,  on  the  12th  of  June,  1830.  His 
father,  Dr.  Charles  Scudder,  was  a  native  of  New 
Jersey,  and  his  mother,  Mary  H.  Scudder,  was  a 
native  of  Virginia.  Capt.  Scudder  removed  to  St. 
Louis  at  an  early  age,  and  soon  became  actively  iden- 
tified with  steamboat  interests  on  the  Mississippi 
River.  Before  he  was  thirty  years  old  he  had  already 
become  quite  prominent  in  the  business,  and  assisted, 
as  one  of  the  incorporates,  in  the  organization  of  the 
Memphis  and  St.  Louis  Packet  Company,  of  which, 
as  already  stated,  he  became  the  president  in  1870. 
Capt.  Scudder  at  once  addressed  himself  to  the  task 
of  consolidating  and  harmonizing  the  steamboat  in- 
terests on  the  lower  Mississippi,  and  succeeded  in 
greatly  expanding  the  operations  of  the  wealthy  and 
powerful  corporation  of  which  he  had  become  the 
head.  Associated  with  him  were  Gerard  B.  Allen, 
John  J.  Roe,  Edgar  and  Henry  Ames,  and  other 
wealthy  citizens  of  St.  Louis,  who  ably  seconded  his 
shrewd  and  energetic  administration  of  the  com- 
pany's affairs.  To  Capt.  Scudder's  tact  and  good 
management  it  was  mainly  due  that  the  corporation 
passed  unscathed  through  the  turmoils  and  dangers  of 
the  civil  war,  for  although  he  had  not  then  been 
chosen  its  chief  executive  officer,  his  wise  and  prudent 
counsels  were  always  heeded,  and  served  to  guide  the 
company  safely  over  many  a  shoal  and  rock. 

In  1869  the  Memphis  Packet  Company  purchased 
the  line  running  to  Vicksburg,  and  extended  its  ser- 
vice to  that  point,  running  three  boats  a  week  to 
both  Vicksburg  and  Memphis.  In  1874,  at  his  sug- 
gestion, the  company  adopted  the  trade-mark  or  emblem 
of  an  anchor,  and  from  this  the  appellation  "  Anchor 
Line"  was  adopted.  Capt.  Scudder  was  the  first  to 
introduce  on  the  Western  rivers  the  restaurant  plan, 
now  so  much  favored,  and  every  improvement  calculated 
to  promote  the  convenience  and  comfort  of  patrons  he 
has  always  been  the  first  to  adopt.  In  1877  he  was 
elected  president  of  the  St.  Louis  Merchants'  Exchange, 
and  in  1878  he  orgnaized  the  New  Orleans  Anchor 
Line,  with  semi-weekly  trips.  In  1879  the  charter  of 
the  Memphis  and  St.  Louis  Packet  Company  ex- 
pired, and,  as  heretofore  stated,  the  company  was  re- 
organized under  the  title  of  the  St.  Louis  and  Vicks- 
burg Anchor  Line.  As  the  chief  executive  of  both 
these  companies,  Capt.  Scudder  continues  to  lead  a 
life  of  unceasing  activity.  His  thorough  familiarity 
with  the  whole  subject  of  river  navigation  renders 
him  an  accepted  authority  among  steamboat  men,  and 
there  is  probably  no  other  individual  engaged  in  the 
business  of  Western  transportation  who  has  been 
more  uniformly  successful,  or  who  has  contributed 
more  largely  to  the  development  of  the  trade  of  the 



Mississippi  and  its  tributaries.  Although  he  has 
succeeded  in  amassing  a  large  fortune,  Capt.  Scudder 
is  as  regular  and  punctual  in  the  discharge  of  his 
official  duties  now  as  he  was  at  the  outset  of  his  career. 
Nothing  that  concerns  the  interests  of  his  companies 
escapes  his  vigilant  eyes,  and  no  detail  is  too  insig- 
nificant to  demand  his  attention.  His  policy  is  char- 
acterized by  a  happy  combination  of  liberality,  bold- 
ness, and  prudence,  and  the  corporations  under  his 
charge  are  models  of  enterprising  and,  at  the  same 
time,  conservative  and  judicious  management.  He 
possesses  in  a  rare  degree  not  only  the  capacity  to 
plan,  but  the  ability  to  execute,  and,  as  we  have  indi- 
cated, is  always  in  the  van,  not  merely  in  adopting, 
but  in  devising  improvements  in  methods  of  trans- 
portation. Personally  he  is  as  modest  and  unassum- 
ing as  he  is  public-spirited  and  generous  in  his  deal- 
ings with  his  fellow-men.  For  many  years  he  has 
been  thoroughly  identified  with  the  interests  of  the 
city  which  early  in  life  he  made  his  home,  and  to-day 
he  is  one  of  the  most  highly  honored  and  influential 
citizens  of  St.  Louis.  He  was  married  in  June,  1852, 
to  Miss  Mary  A.  White,  and  a  few  years  since  Mrs. 
Scudder  was  made  the  recipient  from  unknown  donors 
of  a  handsome  portrait  of  her  husband  executed  by 
Major  Conant.  The  portrait  was  presented  "  as  a  tes- 
timonial in  recognition  of  his  services  and  enterprise 
in  building  up  the  commerce  of  the  city  and  the 
Mississippi  valley"  by  leading  citizens  of  St.  Louis, 
whose  names  were  withheld,  who  "  admired  him  as  a 
man  of  spirit,  thrift,  sagacity,  and  large  views,"  and 
who  "  appreciated  the  work  he  had  accomplished  in 
perfecting  and  extending  river  transportation  facilities." 
The  St.  Louis  and  Mississippi  Valley  Trans- 
portation Company  was  originally  the  Mississippi 
Valley  Transportation  Company.  The  latter  corpo- 
ration was  organized  in  the  early  part  of  1866,  and  the 
first  president  was  Capt.  Barton  Able.  The  first  tow 
of  barges  left  St.  Louis  for  New  Orleans  on  the  1st 
of  April,  1866.  In  the  following  year,  Capt.  George 
H.  Rea  was  elected  president.  Capt.  Rea  was  born 
in  Massachusetts  April  26,  1816.  He  served  an 
apprenticeship  at  the  trade  of  tanning,  and  subse- 
quently removed  to  Waynesboro',  Tenn.,  where  he 
built  up  a  remunerative  trade  in  hides  and  leather. 
Shortly  before  the  breaking  out  of  the  civil  war  he 
removed  to  St.  Louis,  where  he  established  a  hide 
and  leather  store.  He  soon  became  prominent  among 
the  business  men  of  St.  Louis,  and  assisted  in  the 
establishment  of  the  Second  National  Bank.  In 
1866  he  was  elected  a  member  of  the  State  Legisla- 
ture from  the  Thirty-fourth  Senatorial  District  of  I 
Missouri,  and  as  chairman  of  the  Ways  and  Means 

Committee  and  in  other  capacities  proved  an  active 
and  useful  member.  Capt.  Rea  became  largely  inter- 
ested in  Western  transportation  enterprises.  He  was 
at  one  time  a  director  of  the  Missouri  Pacific  Rail- 
road Company,  and  built  the  branch  of  that  road 
from  Pleasant  Hill  to  Lawrence,  Kan.  He  was  a 
stockholder  in  various  railway  and  water  transporta- 
tion companies,  and  in  1867,  as  stated,  was  elected 
president  of  the  Mississippi  Valley  Transportation 
Company,  whose  affairs  he  managed  with  great  en- 
ergy and  success.  During  Capt.  Rea's  administration 
the  other  officers  of  the  company  were  Henry  C. 
Haarstick,  vice-president  and  superintendent;  A.  R. 
Moore,  secretary  ;  William  F.  Haines,  general  freight 
agent;  John  A.  Stevenson,  agent  at  New  Orleans; 
R.  L.  Williams,  agent  at  New  York. 

The  following  steamboats  were  owned  by  the  com- 
pany in  1879: 


Future  City" 

Grand  Lake,  No.  2" 

John  Gilmore" 

John  Dippold" 

My  Choice" 




Barges,  forty-three 47,524.23 

Total  tonnage 50,345.69 

In  1880  the  St.  Louis  and  New  Orleans  Trans- 
portation Company  was  chartered,  but  on  the  10th  of 
September,  1881,  it  was  consolidated  with  the  Missis- 
sippi Valley  corporation  under  the  name  of  the  St. 
Louis  and  Mississippi  Valley  Transportation  Com- 
pany, which  was  incorporated  with  a  capital  stock 
of  two  million  dollars,  the  incorporators  being 
George  H.  Rea,  Henry  C.  Haarstick,  George  D. 
Capen,  Austin  R.  Moore,  R.  S.  Hays,  H.  M.  Hoxie, 
Henry  Lowrey,  A.  A.  Talmage,  and  John  C.  Gault. 
The  company  owns  twelve  steam  tow-boats  and  one 
hundred  barges,  which  are  bonded  for  all  export  and 
import  business.  Its  trade  is  largely  in  wheat,  corn, 
and  oats,  and  in  the  transportation  of  these  cereals  it 
probably  transacts  a  larger  business  than  any  similar 
corporation  in  the  world.  The  officers  in  1882  were 
Henry  C.  Haarstick,  president;  H.  Lowrey,  vice- 
president;  H.  P.  Wyman,  secretary;  and  A.  R. 
Moore,  treasurer  ;  Directors,  George  H.  Rea,  Henry 
C.  Haarstick,  George  D.  Capen,  Austin  R.  Moore,  R. 
S.  Hays.  H.  M.  Hoxie,  Henry  Lowrey,  A.  A.  Tal- 
mage, and  John  C.  Gault.  The  office  is  located  on 
the  company's  wharf  boat  at  the  foot  of  Elm  Street. 

The  St.  Louis  and  New  Orleans  Packet  Com- 
pany was  organized  in  May,  1869,  and  was  the  suc- 
cessor of  the  Atlantic  and  Mississippi  Steamship 
Company.  The  first  president  was  Capt.  John  N. 
Bofinger.  the  first  secretary  Walker  R.  Carter,  and 



the  first  general  superintendent  John  W.  Carroll. 
In  1870  the  executive  officers  remained  the  same, 
and  the  directors  were  John  N.  Bofinger,  D.  R. 
Powell,  Walker  R.  Carter,  John  W.  Carroll,  and 
Theodore  Laveille.  At  that  time  the  steamers  be- 
longing to  the  company,  which  were  then  among  the 
largest  and  finest  in  Western  waters,  were  the  "  Olive 
Branch,"  "Pauline  Carroll,"  "Richmond,"  "Dexter," 
"  Mollie  Able,"  "  Thompson  Dean,"  "  Common- 
wealth," "  W.  R.  Arthur,"  "  Bismarck,"  "  Great 
Republic,"  and  "  Continental."  In  1871  the  follow- 
ing steamers  were  added  :  "  City  of  Alton,"  "  Belle 
Lee,"  "Natchez,"  "Belfast,"  "Carrie  V.  Kountz," 
"  Rubicon,"  "  Capital  City,"  "  Henry  Ames,"  "  C.  B. 
Church,"  "  Glencoe,"  "  Andy  Johnson,"  "  John 
Kyle,"  "Mollie  Ebert,"  "Lady  Lee,"  "  Oceanus," 
"Shannon,"  "Virginia,"  "Susie  Silver,"  "Tom 
Jasper,"  "  James  Howard,"  "  City  of  Quincy,"  "  S. 
S.  Merrill."  The  total  amount  of  freight  carried  in 
1871  was  one  hundred  and  seventy- three  thousand 
nine  hundred  tons. 

Capt.  John  N.  Bofinger,  first  president  of  the  St. 
Louis  and  New  Orleans  Packet  Company,  was  born 
in  Lancaster  County,  Pa.,  Oct.  30,  1825,  and  in  1835 
removed  with  his  parents  to  Cincinnati,  where  his 
father  established  the  first  German  paper  west  of 
Pittsburgh,  the  Cincinnati  Volksblatt,  which  became 
a  flourishing  journal  and  existed  many  years.  The 
boy  was  educated  at  the  public  schools  of  Cincinnati, 
and  in  1846  obtained  a  position  as  clerk  on  the  mail 
line  steamers  plying  between  Cincinnati  and  Louis- 
ville. In  April,  1848,  he  arrived  in  St.  Louis  as 
clerk  of  the  steamer  "  Atlantic,"  on  which  he  remained 
as  clerk  and  captain  for  six  years.  In  1854,  in  con- 
nection with  John  J.  Roe  and  Rhodes,  Pegram  & 
Co.,  he  purchased  the  steamer  "  L.  M.  Kennett,"  and 
in  1857  built  the  steamer  "  William  M.  Morrison," 
which,  when  the  war  broke  out,  was  the  last  boat  to 
leave  St.  Louis  for  New  Orleans.  The  "  Morrison" 
was  detained  by  the  Confederate  authorities  at  Mem- 
phis, May  28,  1861,  and  was  burned  at  New  Orleans 
by  the  Confederates  on  the  arrival  of  Farragut's  fleet. 

For  thirteen  years  preceding  the  war,  Capt.  Bo- 
finger commanded  steamers  running  between  St.  Louis 
and  New  Orleans,  and  enjoyed  the  reputation  of  being 
an  unusually  successful  captain.  During  that  period  he 
made  one  hundred  and  ninety-two  trips  between  the 
two  cities,  and  never  met  with  an  accident  that  oc- 
casioned the  loss  of  a  life. 

The  war  provided  a  new  theatre  for  the  display  of 
Capt.    Bofinger's  abilities  as  an  organizer  and  com- 
mander.    He  became  interested  in  nearly  all  the  con-  i 
tracts  let  by  the  United  States  government  for  the  ' 

transportation  of  troops  and  supplies  on  the  Missis- 
sippi and  its  tributaries  during  1861,  '62,  '63,  '64, 
'65,  '66,  and  '67,  and  during  that  time  owned  thirty 
steamers.  He  was  no  doubt  the  largest  vessel-owner 
in  the  world.  An  instance  of  the  magnitude  of  his 
operations  and  the  extent  of  the  trust  reposed  in  his 
capacity  to  conduct  them  successfully  is  afforded  by 
the  fact  that  he  was  chosen  by  Gen.  L.  B.  Parsons, 
A.Q.M.G.,  m  1862  to  proceed  to  Memphis  and  Helena 
for  the  purpose  of  embarking  the  troops  and  animals 
of  Gen.  Sherman's  army  destined  for  Vicksburg. 
The  number  of  steamers  engaged  in  this  service  was 
ninety-five, — three  boats  were  laden  with  munitions  of 
war,  four  with  commissary  and  quartermaster's  stores, 
and  the  remainder  with  the  army  of  nearly  thirty-five 
thousand  men  and  their  animals,  etc.  This  vast  fleet 
was  escorted  by  eleven  gunboats  under  the  command 
of  Admiral  Porter. 

After  the  war  Capt.  Bofinger  with  others  formed 
the  Atlantic  and  Mississippi  Steamship  Company,  with 
a  capital  of  over  two  million  dollars,  and  owning 
twenty-five  of  the  largest  steamboats  then  on  the 
river,  and  was  elected  superintendent  of  the  company. 
In  1867  he  severed  his  connection  with  this  com- 
pany and  established  the  Vicksburg  Mail  Line,  and 
after  two  years  of  successful  operations,  sold  his  in- 
terest to  the  Memphis  and  St.  Louis  Packet  Company, 
now  the  Vicksburg  Anchor  Line. 

In  1869  the  Atlantic  and  Mississippi  Steamship 
Company  sold  its  steamers,  and  Capt.  Bofinger  and 
others  formed  the  St.  Louis  and  New  Orleans  Packet 
Company,  of  which  he  was  elected  president,  serving 
in  that  capacity  until  1873,  when  he  retired  from  the 

In  1869-70,  Capt.  Bofinger  held  a  contract  with 
the  government  to  transport  troops  and  supplies  be- 
tween St.  Louis  and  Fort  Benton,  over  three  thou- 
sand miles ;  between  St.  Louis  and  New  Orleans, 
twelve  hundred  miles ;  and  between  St.  Louis  and 
Fort  Gibson,  on  the  Arkansas  River,  fifteen  hundred 
miles  ;  an  aggregate  of  five  thousand  seven  hundred 
miles.  This  was  the  longest  river  transportation  con- 
tract ever  held  by  any  one  person. 

During  the  past  few  years  Capt.  Bofinger  has  en- 
gaged somewhat  extensively  in  steamboat-building, 
one  vessel  of  iron,  the  "  Gouldsboro',"  being  a  trans- 
fer steamer  at  New  Orleans  ;  and  he  is  now  construct- 
ing a  large  steamer  for  the  Memphis  and  Kansas 
City  Railroad.  In  connection  with  his  brother  he  has 
established  the  Telephone  Company  in  Louisiana  and 
Mississippi,  which  they  own  and  operate. 

Capt.  Bofinger's  wife  was  Miss  Mary  E.  Shewell, 
of  St.  Louis. 






Capt.  Bofinger  is  regarded  as  authority  on  all 
matters  connected  with  river  transportation,  especially 
on  the  Mississippi  and  its  tributaries,  and  congressional 
committees  and  other  bodies  desiring  information  have 
availed  themselves  freely  of  his  knowledge,  attained 
through  nearly  forty  years  of  varied  and  arduous  ex- 
perience. He  may  be  classed  with  the  foremost  of 
the  second  generation  of  Mississippi  steamboat  cap- 
tains, and  is  a  worthy  successor  of  such  men  as  the 
gallant  Shreve  and  others  who  were  pioneers  in  this 
calling.  While  Capt.  Bofinger  has  contributed  his 
full  share  towards  making  river  transportation  an  im- 
portant factor  in  the  commerce  of  the  country,  his 
work  is  not  yet  ended,  and  those  who  know  his  in- 
domitable  energy  do  not  hesitate  to  predict  that  he 
will  again  be  heard  from  in  connection  with  works  of 
great  magnitude  and  of  equally  conspicuous  public  j 

The   Merchants'  Southern  Line  Packet  Com-  : 
pany  was  established  in  1870,  and  its  steamers  plied  , 
between  St.  Louis  and  New  Orleans,  connecting  at 
Columbus  with   the   Mobile  and   Ohio  Railroad,  at 
Memphis  with  the  Mississippi  and  Tennessee  Rail- 
road and  Memphis  and  Charleston  Railroad,  at  New  j 
Orleans  with  the  Morgan  Line  steamships  for  Mobile. 
Galveston,  and  Indianola,  also  at  the  same  port  with 
steamships  for  Havana,  at  the  mouth  of  Red  River 
with  Red  and  Ouachita  River  packets,  and  at  Hick- 
man,  Ky.,  with  the  Northwestern  Railroad  for  Nash- 
ville and  points  in  Middle  and  East  Tennessee  and 
Northern  Georgia. 

The  officers  of  the  company  in  1870  were  J.  F. 
Baker,  president ;  B.  R.  Pegram,  vice-president ; 
Thomas  Morrison,  secretary ;  Charles  Scudder,  super- 
intendent; David  H.  Silver,  general  agent,  and  the 
principal  steamers  were  the  "  James  Howard,"  B.  R. 
Pegram,  captain ;  "  Henry  C.  Yeager,"  I.  C.  Van 
Hook,  captain  ;  "  Susie  Silver."  Samuel  S.  Entriken, 
captain ;  "  T.  L.  McGill,"  Thomas  W.  Shields,  cap- 
tain ;  "  Carrie  V.  Kountz;'1  "  Henry  Ames,"  J.  West 
Jacobs,  captain ;  "  John  Kyle,"  John  B.  Weaver, 
captain  ;  "  Mollie  Moore,"  George  D.  Moore,  captain. 

The  Kansas  City  Packet  Company  (Star  Line) 
is  the  successor  of  the  Missouri  Packet  Company, 
which  originated  with  the  Star  Line  Packet  and  Mi- 
ami Packet  Companies.  The  Star  Line  was  absorbed 
by  the  Miami,  which  then  became  known  as  the  Miami 
"Star  Line"  Packet  Company.  In  1869  this  corpo- 
ration had  five  steamers  plying  between  St.  Louis  and 
Kansas  City.  The  officers  at  that  time  were  Capt.  E. 
W.  Gould,  president ;  Capt.  W.  W.  Ater,  secretary  ; 
and  Capt.  M.  Hillard,  general  freight  agent,  and  the 
steamers  were  the  "  Mountaineer,"  M.  H.  Crapster, 

captain ;  "  W.  J.  Lewis,"  R.  J.  Whitledge,  captain  ; 
"  W.  B.  Dance,"  N.  F.  Constance,  captain  ;  "  Clara," 
John  Abrams,  captain  ;  "  Post-Boy, "  S.  Ball,  captain. 
The  "  E.  La  Barge,"  "  M.  McDonald,"  «  Nile,"  and 
"  Viola  Belle"  were  also  run  under  direction  of  the 
company.  Early  in  1871  the  stockholders  of  the 
Star  and  Miami  Lines  formed  a  new  line,  and  or- 
ganized under  the  name  of  the  Missouri  River 
Packet  Company,  with  W.  J.  Lewis  as  president ; 
Joseph  Kinney,  vice-president ;  E.  W.  Gould,  super- 
intendent ;  William  W.  Ater,  secretary ;  and  M. 
Hillard,  general  freight  agent.  During  1871  the 
company  built  three  new  boats,  the  "  Capitol  City," 
"  Fannie  Lewis,"  and  "  Joseph  Kinney."  Besides 
the  regular  trips  to  Kansas  City,  the  steamers  of  the 
company  during  1871  made  twenty-one  trips  to  Mem- 
phis and  Helena. 

The  Kansas  City  Packet  Company  was  organized 
July  15,  1878,  with  a  capital  stock  of  fifty  thousand 
dollars,  the  incorporators  being  W.  J.  Lewis,  C.  S. 
Rogers,  E.  W.  Gould,  N.  Springer,  and  R.  J.  Whit- 
ledge.  The  company  transacts  a  general  passenger 
and  freight  business  on  the  Missouri  and  Mississippi 
Rivers  between  St.  Louis  and  Fort  Benton,  and  owns 
the  steamers  "  Joe  Kinney,"  "  Fannie  Lewis," 
"  Mattie  Bell,"  and  "  D.  R.  Powell,"  together  with 
four  barges.  The  officers  of  the  company  in  1882 
were  E.  W.  Gould,  president ;  C.  S.  Rogers,  vice- 
president  ;  and  R.  J.  Whitledge,  secretary  ;  Directors, 
C.  S.  Rogers,  W.  J.  Lewis,  E.  W.  Gould,  N.  Sprin- 
ger, and  R.  J.  Whitledge.  The  office  is  located  on 
the  wharf-boat  at  the  foot  of  Olive  Street. 

E.  W.  Gould,  president  of  the  Kansas  City  Packet 
Company,  was  born  in  Massachusetts  on  the  15th  of 
December,  1811.  He  served  an  apprenticeship  at  the 
trade  of  carriage- making,  and  in  1835  went  West  and 
worked  for  two  years  at  his  trade  in  St.  Louis.  He 
then  purchased  an  interest  in  the  steamer"  Friendship," 
which  was  engaged  in  the  Illinois  River  trade,  and 
subsequently  became  clerk  of  a  steamer  on  the  upper 
Mississippi.  In  1837  he  was  made  captain  of  the 
steamer  "  Knickerbocker,"  which  was  lost  at  the  mouth 
of  the  Ohio  two  years  later.  Subsequently  Capt.  Gould 
became  engaged  in  the  Missouri  River  trade,  and  was 
successively  president  of  the  Miami  Star  Line  and 
superintendent  of  the  Missouri  River  Packet  Com- 
pany. Upon  the  organization  of  the  Kansas  City 
Packet  Company  he  became  its  president.  Capt. 
Gould  is  an  experienced  and  able  steamboat  manager, 
and  the  affairs  of  the  corporation  over  which  he  pre- 
sides are  conducted  with  conspicuous  skill  and  success. 
In  1846  he  was  married  to  Miss  Chipley,  daughter  of 
Dr.  William  B.  Chipley,  at  Warsaw,  111. 



The  "K"  Line  of  Packets,  designed  to  ply  be- 
tween St.  Louis  and  Miami  and  intermediate  points 
on  the  Missouri  River,  began  business  early  in  1870 
with  the  "St.  Luke,"  Judd  Cartwright,  captain. 
The  line  was  managed  by  Capt.  Joseph  Kinney,  as- 
sisted by  J.  S.  Nanson  as  superintendent,  and  H.  F. 
Driller,  general  agent.  Subsequently  the  "  Alice" 
was  added,  and  a  flourishing  business  was  transacted 
by  the  two  steamers. 

The  St.  Louis  and  Omaha  Packet  Company  was 
organized  in  1867,  the  first  president  being  Joseph  S. 
Nanson,  and  the  first  secretary  Joseph  McEntire,  both 
of  whom  were  experienced  steamboat-men.  During 
the  second  year  of  the  company's  existence  Capt.  John 
B.  Weaver1  was  elected  president,  and  served  in  that 
capacity  for  two  years. 

The  steamers  of  the  line  were  the  "  T.  L.  McGill," 
T.  W.  Shields,  captain ;  "  Silver  Bow,"  T.  W.  Rea, 
captain  ;  "  Mary  McDonald,"  J.  Greenough,  captain  ; 
«  Cornelia,"  L.  T.  Belt,  captain  ;  "  Columbian,"  Wil- 
liam Barnes,  captain  ;  "  Glasgow,"  W.  P.  Lamothe, 
captain  ;  "  Kate  Kinney,"  J.  P.  McKinney,  captain  ; 
"  H.  S.  Turner,"  J.  A.  Yore,  captain. 

The  Coulson  Line  of  Steamers,  plying  between 
St.  Louis  and  Fort  Benton,  was  organized  in  1878. 
The  officers  in  1882  were  S.  P.  Coulson,  president; 
W.  S.  Evans,  vice-president ;  and  D.  W.  Marratta, 
secretary  and  general  superintendent.  The  company 
owns  and  controls  the  following  steamers  :  "  Rosebud," 
"  Big  Horn,"  "  Josephine,"  and  "  Dacotah."  Jen- 
kins &  Sass  are  the  agents  at  St.  Louis. 

The  Naples  Packet  Company  was  organized  in 
1848,  and  was  chartered  Aug.  12,  1872,  with  the 
following  i n corporators :  C.  S.  Rogers,  E.  W.  Gould, 
J.  W.  Mortimer,  and  Samuel  Rider.  The  capital 
stock  is  sixty-four  thousand  dollars,  and  the  company 
transacts  a  passenger  and  freight  transportation  busi- 
ness between  St.  Louis  and  Peoria,  111.  It  owns  the 
handsome  steamer  "  Calhoun,"  which  makes  all  way 
landings  on  the  Mississippi  and  Illinois  Rivers  between 
the  terminal  points.  C.  S.  Rogers  was  elected  presi- 
dent first  in  1872,  and  has  retained  the  position  ever 
since.  John  W.  Mortimer  is  the  secretary,  and  the 
directors  are  C.  S.  Rogers,  E.  W.  Gould,  John  W. 

1  Capt.  Weaver  died  in  St.  Louis  on  the  6th  of  August,  1871, 
in  the  fifty-seventh  year  of  his  age.  dipt.  Weaver  arrived  in 
St.  Louis  when  a  young  man,  and  until  his  death  was  identified 
with  the  city's  steamboat  interests.  As  clerk  and  then  com- 
mander, ho  was  connected  with  steamers  plving  on  the  Missouri 
River  for  more  than  twenty-five  years.  As  previously  stated, 
he  was  elected  president  of  the  St.  Louis  and  Omaha  Packet 
Company,  and  in  connection  with  Capt.  Davidson  and  others 
became  one  of  the  owners  of  the  steamer  "John  Kyle,"  and  in 
the  fall  of  1870  commander  of  that  vessel. 

Mortimer,  and  Samuel  Rider.  The  office  is  located 
on  the  wharf-boat,  foot  of  Olive  Street. 

The  St.  Louis  and  Peoria  Packet  Company  was 
organized  on  the  3d  of  February,  1868,  its  officers  at 
that  time  being  J.  S.  McCune,  president;  A.  C. 
Dunlevy,  secretary  ;  and  F.  A.  Sheble,  general  super- 
intendent. In  1870  the  vessels  belonging  to  the 
company  were  the  "  Beardstown,"  Samuel  E.  Gray, 
captain  ;  "  City  of  Pekin,"  Thomas  Hunter,  captain; 
"  Illinois,"  S.  E.  Gray,  captain ;  "  Schuyler,"  H.  G. 
Rice,  captain ;  "  Columbia,"  Joseph  Throckmorton,2 

In  1871  the  vessels  employed  by  the  company 
were  the  "  Illinois,"  "  City  of  Pekin,"  "  Huntsville" 
and  barges,  "  P.  W.  Strader"  and  barges,  and  "  Beards- 

The  St.  Louis,  Cincinnati,  Huntington  and 
Pittsburgh  Packet  Company,  whose  headquarters 

1  Capt.  Joseph  Throckmorton  was  born  on  the  16th  of  June, 
1800,  in  Monmouth  County,  N.  J.  As  a  lad  he  entered  a  mer- 
cantile house  in  New  York,  but,  in  company  with  others,  sub- 
sequently purchased  the  steamer  ''Red  Rover,"  and  made 
several  trips  with  her  from  Pittsburgh  to  Zanesville,  Ohio.  The 
"Red  Rover"  was  finally  sunk  in  a  collision,  but  was  raised  and 
taken  to  St.  Louis  and  employed  in  the  Galena  trade.  While 
engaged  in  the  upper  Mississippi  trade,  Capt.  Throckmorton 
won  the  friendship  of  the  Indian  chief  Keokuk,  who  offered 
him  nearly  all  the  Flint  Hills,  afterwards  the  site  of  the  city 
of  Burlington,  if  he  would  settle  there.  About  1830  Capt. 
Throckmorton,  in  company  with  Capt.  George  W.  Atcheson, 
built  the  steamer  "  Winnebago"  at  Paducah,  and  employed 
her  in  the  Galena  trade  until  1832,  when  he  built  at  Pittsburgh 
the  steamer  "  Warrior,"  and  a  tow-barge  for  the  accommodation 
of  passengers.  While  Capt.  Throckmorton  was  in  command  of 
the  "  Warrior"  the  Black  Hawk  war  broke  out,  and  the  vessel 
was  chartered  for  the  transportation  of  the  United  States 
troops  under  Gen.  Atkinson.  At  the  battle  of  Bad  Axe,  which 
was  the  decisive  engagement  of  the  war,  the  captain  aud  crew 
of  the  "  Warrior"  were  hotly  engaged.  The  "  Warrior"  con- 
tinued in  the  upper  Mississippi  trade  until  1835,  when  Capt. 
Throckmorton  built  the  steamer  "  St.  Peter,"  and  in  1836  the 
"Ariel."  During  the  following  year  he  built  the  "Burling- 
ton," and  in  1842  the  "General  Brooke."  In  1845  he  sold  the 
"  Brooke"  to  the  American  Fur  Company,  and  assumed  com- 
mand of  that  company's  steamer  "Nimrod,"  but  having  pur- 
chased the  "  Cecilia,"  relinquished  his  position.  In  1848  he 
built  the  "  Cora,''  which  he  commanded  for  a  year  or  two,  after 
which  he  acted  for  four  years  as  the  agent  of  the  Tennessee 
Insurance  Company  at  St.  Louis.  He  then  returned  to  his 
former  occupation  of  steamboat  captain,  and  having  built  the 
"  Genon,"  commanded  that  vessel  from  1854  to  1856.  In  1857 
he  built  the  "  Florence,"  and  in  1864  the  "  Montana."  In  the 
spring  of  1868,  Capt.  Throekmorton  purchased  the  "Columbia," 
and  employed  her  in  the  trade  between  St.  Louis  and  Fort 
Benton.  He  subsequently  made  several  trips  with  his  boat  in 
the  service  of  the  Illinois  Packet  Company,  and  finally  sold 
her  to  the  Arkansas  River  Packet  Company.  During  the  last 
two  years  of  his  life  Capt.  Throckmorton  was  employed  by  the 
United  States  government,  under  the  command  of  Col.  Macomb, 
United  States  engineer,  in  the  improvement  of  the  upper 
Mississippi.  He  died  in  December,  1872. 



are  at  Pittsburgh,  Pa.,  established  an  agency  in  St. 
Louis  in  1881.  It  owns  and  controls  the  following 
boats,  which  run  between  Pittsburgh,  Cincinnati,  and 
St.  Louis:  the  "Buckeye  State,"  "Pittsburgh," 
"  Carrie,"  and  "  John  L.  Rhodes."  The  company 
transacts  a  general  transportation  business,  carrying 
both  passengers  and  freight.  The  officers  are  J.  M. 
Williamson,  superintendent,  Cincinnati ;  and  Capt. 
W.  S.  Evans,  superintendent,  Pittsburgh.  Jenkins 
&  Sass  are  the  agents  at  St.  Louis. 

The  Gartside  Coal  and  Towing  Company  was 
organized  in  1856,  and  chartered  in  May,  1873,  with 
a  capital  stock  of  fifty  thousand  dollars.  The  incor- 
porators  were  James,  Charles  E.,  and  Joseph  Gartside. 
The  company  owns  two  steam-tugs  and  ten  barges,  and 
transacts  a  general  coal  and  transportation  business. 
The  officers  in  1882  were  Charles  E.  Gartside,  presi- 
dent, and  James  Gartside,  secretary  and  treasurer. 
The  office  is  located  on  the  New  Orleans  Anchor  Line 
wharf-boat,  foot  of  Pine  Street. 

The  Carter  Line  (Red  River  Packet  Company) 
was  established  in  1869  by  Capt.  VV.  R.  Carter  and 
Capt.  Joseph  Conn,  who  employed  the  "  R.  J.  Lock- 
wood,"  "  Silver  Bow,"  "  H.  M.  Shreve,"  "Oceanus," 
"  M.  E.  Forsyth,"  "Lady  Lee,"  "Belle  Rowland," 
and  "  Mary  E.  Poe."  The  annual  receipts  of  the 
company  amounted  to  about  six  hundred  and  fifty 
thousand  dollars.  The  ports  visited  by  the  line  were 
landings  on  the  Missouri  River,  St.  Louis,  Jefferson, 
Shreveport,  and  New  Orleans. 

The  Merchants'  St.  Louis  and  Arkansas  River 
Packet  Company  began  business  in  the  spring  of 
1870.  The  territory  embraced  within  the  range  of 
the  company's  operations  extended  from  the  mouth  of 
the  Arkansas  River  to  Fort  Smith,  and  comprised  all 
that  section  south  of  the  river  and  between  it  and  the 
Ouachita,  and  north  of  it  to  the  extreme  western  and 
northwestern  sections  of  the  State,  also  from  the 
mouth  of  White  River  to  the  upper  part  of  it  and 
the  country  bordering  on  Black  and  Currant  Rivers, 
reaching  almost  to  the  northern  line  of  the  State. 
The  company  was  incorporated  in  1870  with  a  cap- 
ital stock  of  one  hundred  thousand  dollars,  and  the 
following  officers  were  elected  : 

President,  James  A.  Jackson  ;  Vice-President,  D. 
P.  Rowland  ;  Treasurer,  George  D.  Appleton  ;  Secre- 
tary and  Superintendent,  James  D.  Sylvester;  Direc- 
tors, James  A.  Jackson,  D.  P.  Rowland,  Matthew 
Moody,  W.  S.  Stover,  C.  L.  Thompson,  Louis  Fusz, 
George  D.  Appleton,  C.  N.  McDowell,  and  George 

A  low-water  boat  was  at  once  contracted  for  for  the 
upper  Arkansas  River,  three  steamers  purchased,  and 

the  line  put  in  working  order.  The  steamers  employed 
by  the  company  in  1871  were  the  "  Sallie,"  "  Colum- 
bia," "  Muncie,"  "  Sioux  City,"  and  "  Little  Rock." 
At  Little  Rock  the  vessels  from  St.  Louis  connected 
with  the  light-draught  steamer  "  Little  Rock,"  which 
ran  to  Fort  Smith,  thus  forming  a  continuous  line  of 
communication  with  the  extreme  western  border  of 
the  State. 

Ouachita  River  Packets. — Prior  to  1870  St. 
Louis  had  not  enjoyed  an  extensive  trade  with  the 
region  of  country  bordering  on  the  Ouachita  River. 
Hitherto  her  merchants  and  shippers  had  permitted 
New  Orleans  and  other  Southern  cities  to  monopolize 
the  business  of  the  Ouachita  ports,  but  in  that  year 
it  was  determined  to  send  several  steamers,  loaded  at 
St.  Louis,  to  that  river.  The  experiment  was  made, 
and  the  results  were  such  as  to  establish  the  entire 
practicability  of  building  up  a  regular  and  lucrative 
trade.  The  steamers  of  the  line  were  the  "  C.  H. 
Durfee,"  Frank  Dozier,  captain  ;  "  Mary  McDonald," 
John  Greenough,  captain ;  "  Ida  Stockdale,"  J.  W. 
Jacobs,  captain ;  "  Hesper,"  J.  Ferguson,  captain ; 
"  C.  V.  Kountz,"  J.  C.  Vanhook,  captain  ;  "  Tempest," 
D.  H.  Silver,  captain.  The  "  Tempest"  was  destroyed 
on  her  first  trip  up  the  river.  H.  F.  Driller  was  the 
general  freight  agent  of  the  line.  Mr.  Driller  after- 
wards secured  two  boats  for  the  White  River  trade, 
the  "  Osage,"  Capt.  William  A.  Cade,  and  the  "  Na- 
trona,"  Capt.  George  Graham. 

Louis,  Mo.,  IN  1871. 

Memphis  and  St.  Louis  Packet  Company 

Carter  Line  Packet  Company 

Northwestern  Transportation  Company 

Wiggins  Ferry  Company 

Northern   Line  Packet  Company 

Harbor  tow-boats  and  tugs 

St.  Louis  Sand  Company 

Gral'ton  Stone  and  Tow  Company 

Conrad  Line  (Tennessee  Kiver) 

North western  Union  Packet  Company 

Merchants'  Southern  Line 

Keokuk  Packet  Compuny 

Peoria  Packet  Compuny 

Na [iles  Packet  Company 

Missouri  River  Packet  Company 

St.  Louis  and  New  Orleans  Packet  Company  (about). 

Mississippi  Valley  Transportation  Company 

St.  Louis  and  Arkansas  River  Packet  Company 

Outside  boats  (about) 




















Total  value $5,428,800 



BY  the  terms  of  the  treaty  for  the  cession  of 
Louisiana  to  the  United  States,  the  full  and  .complete 
navigation  of  the  Mississippi  River  was  secured  to 



the  United  States.  The  trade  and  commerce  of  the 
river  at  this  time  (1803-4)  were  unimportant.  New 
Orleans  and  St.  Louis  were  the  only  towns  of  any 
size  upon  the  Mississippi,  the  latter  having  but  four- 
teen hundred  inhabitants  in  1811,  and  the  value  of 
its  merchandise  and  imports  amounting  to  about 
two  hundred  and  fifty  thousand  dollars  annually. 
As  small  a  sum  as  this  appears  to  be,  it  was  princi- 
pally owing  to  the  fact  that  St.  Louis  was  the  fitting- 
out  point  for  the  military  and  trading  establishments 
on  the  Mississippi  and  Missouri  that  even  this 
amount  was  reached.  Peltries,  lead,  and  whiskey 
made  a  large  portion  of  the  currency,  and  the 
branches  of  business  were  not  at  all  fixed  or 

The  establishment  of  the  Bank  of  St.  Louis  in 
1816,  and  of  the  Missouri  Bank  in  1817,  indicates  a 
great  increase  of  the  business  of  St.  Louis,  and  may 
be  regarded  as  fixing  an  initial  point  in  its  trade  and 
commerce  with  other  sections.  In  1821  there  were 
only  four  hundred  and  twenty-nine  tax-payers  in  St. 
Louis,  and  the  total  taxes  levied  for  the  year  amounted 
to  $3823.80. 

The  prices  current  of  a  retail  market  give  but  a 
partial  idea  of  the  business  of  the  community,  and 
those  of  St.  Louis  for  Nov.  23,  1816,  afford  only  a 
general  notion  of  the  market  of  the  town  at  that 


Beef,  on  foot,  per  cwt...  $4.00 

Bread,  ship,  none 

Butter,  per  pound 25 

Beeswax, "       "      

Candles,   "       "      

Cheese,     "       "      

Cheese,    common,    per 


Boards,  none  in  inar- 


Flour,  horse-mill,  su- 
perfine, per  cwt $6.00 

Grain,  wheat,  per 
bushel 1.00 

Grain,  rye,  per  bushel       .62i 

Grain,  barley,  per 

Grain,  corn,  per  bush... 

Grain,  oats